Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The prettiest sight ever...

...is an empty project box!!
Yay! Boy, do I feel like a big, whiny baby now! It took no time at all to get this top quilted and the binding on. It does help that I did a big, loose, loopy pattern with stars thrown in over the big light areas:
A close up:
The back:
This one will also be gifted to House of Mercy. Hopefully it will have some little boy snuggling in it soon! The work was made much easier with one of my FAVORITE things about Christmas:
I LOVE popping one of these peppermint nougats in my mouth and just letting it melt! My coworkers all laugh at me...they tell me it's "grandma" candy. That's okay..I like'em anywho!! lol Now, I am taking Mary's advice (thanks, hon!!) and rewarding myself with a little piecing. I figure tomorrow is soon enough to grab box #2 and see what is in there for me to finish up!!


Oh, I need this sewing time tonight!!! Work has been awful this week (and we are only 2 days in!!) and I am behind in just about everything housework wise, too. Tonight, though, is for ME. I am going to sew. I NEED to quilt up the Seven Shirt quilt. Remember that I am NOT going to start anything until it gets done?? I want to quilt it, but I want to piece something..anything! lol I thought maybe I would just piece for an hour and then move on to quilting, but I am afraid I won't enjoy the piecing because of the lack of quilting guilt! Does this ever happen to you?? Sigh..I guess I will just quilt the darn thing. It really won't take long because I am only going to do a meander over it. Then I will be able to piece guilt free. No, not really because then I will know I should be pulling box #2 and working on THAT project. I know there is a compromise in here somewhere...now just to find it. The need to piece is fierce...but, I....must.....be....strong.....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inch by Inch

I am disappointed in myself for not making more sewing time this week but considering I spent it with the family, it was worth it!! I really thought I would have the Seven Shirts quilt done by now, but it just didn't happen. I did get the last border on and got it all sandwiched and ready to quilt:
I am really glad I made myself put on the last border. It really adds to the whole quilt. That is probably going to be it for tonight. I just don't have it in me to start quilting it, so that will wait until tomorrow. When I was at our retreat in Connecticut, we went out to a lovely lunch. The place was so accomodating to us quilters. Look at the chairs:
The caning was friendship stars! LOL I wonder how many folks have sat on these chairs and it took our little bunch of quilters to see that. Check out the dessert that they treated us on the house:
That is a slice of key lime pie and banoffee pie. They were both amazing, but that banoffee pie is to die for...banana, toffee and chocolate!! Throw in a proprietor with the most lovely Irish accent and a penchant for telling tales and that place has it all. Btw..I think he has a crush on Marie Bostwick, the author and our hostess for the retreat..but then again, who wouldn't???

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Box #1

Okay..after I had a meltdown the other day over the lack of empty boxes in my sewing cave, I decided I would start working my way through them. How to decide what to work on, though? While I obviously like all the projects or I wouldn't have started them and/or kitted them up, they apparently didn't hold my attention very long. So, I decided the only fair way was to grab a box..any box..and finish whatever was in it. And I mean FINISH it..to the end..not to a flimsy...quilt it, bind it and be DONE with it. So, I grabbed box #1 (this was kind of fun because I really had NO idea what was in it!!), opened it and found it filled with the shirts I had pulled for the 7 Shirt Quilt. The link for the tutorial is here. Saturday night I got to it and got all the shirts cut up. I got the back all pieced together:
I also have the center of the top and the first border done:
It is supposed to have piano key borders around it next. I really like the way it looks without it, though. It is small...only about 41 x 53 with only the one border on it. It is going to be donated to House of Mercy and since I just donated a small one for a girl, maybe I should leave it like this to donate for a young boy. Or maybe I should stop trying to talk myself out of the other border and just finish it up properly. That is the whole point of this exercise..no shortcuts..no "almost dones"!! Sigh..okay..off to see if I can get the last border together and on and then maybe I can even get it sandwiched tonight. Oh..the thought of getting one done that was just languishing is intoxicating!! Almost as intoxicating as having an empty box when I am done!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ruh Roh!

The immortal words of Astro from the Jetsons..ruh roh! I came up to grab a project to bring back down to work on downstairs while sitting with Patrick. Simple enough task. But then I started thinking about my "Gotta Make it NOW" project that I came up with before bed the other night. I do NOT want to start it until I get a few more finishes under my belt, but I decided I could at least pull some of the scraps for it..light yellows, light pinks and browns. (Ohhh...how easily we can let ourselves be deceived..just pull the scraps..yeah..RIGHT!). Then while I was digging through my big box of scraps waiting to get cut down to size, I thought, "why not pull some scraps just in case I decide to do Bonnie Hunter's new mystery? I am digging through the pile, anywho..might as well! (Deception #2 so far..I PROMISED myself I would not consider this now since I have too much going on!)So, now I have a box filling up for my project, 2 boxes filling up for the mystery and I need one more box for strings. What?? No more empty boxes in my sewing room! This is where the big ruh roh comes in. I have boxes...LOTS of boxes for my projects. And they are all filled. Yes, I COULD go down and get another box, but I won't. I can't. I have GOT to empty some of the boxes already here of their projects to claim the box again. This is now at crisis stage with the projects. I think I need an intervention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doncha hate...

..when it is almost midnight...you are done for the day..you are settled in bed...and WHAM! Inspiration strikes! And not just ANY inspiration..THE inspiration that makes you wide awake instantly and the wheels are turning in your head and you want to jump out of bed NOW and start this new project immediately??????!!!!! ARGHHH! I had been flipping through some quilt books earlier in the evening and just when I was ready to doze off tonight, my brain put together a quilt top based on a piece of a quilt I saw in one of those books. I canNOT get started on this now!! I NEED to finish up some of these other things!!! WAHHHH...I am going back to bed now..to not sleep and to be tossing and turning while I try to talk myself out of starting on this right NOW!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Simple Man's Christmas is done!

Today I finished quilting up the borders and got the binding machine attached. Tonight I will handsew the binding while watching the boob tube. Here it is:
I did the borders with alternating holly and Christmas trees:
I will have to wait until I can take a pic in the daylight to show you how cool the back looks with the red thread on the green back. Thanks so much to Sue and Cathy for hosting the quiltalong! I wouldn't have gotten as much done or met as many nice ladies if it weren't for you two!! Today I also got a ton of laundry done and made 2 lasagnes, a shepherd's pie, made and canned 7 quarts of meatball soup and made and canned 7 quarts of chili. Been a productive day and I can't wait to just sit and relax tonight!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update #2

Yay! I got the center all quilted. Each star was outline quilted with the red thread. I decided that since this is a simple man's quilt, I wanted humble quilting so in the other blocks I just did great big x's. I love the way this is turning out. The back is a homespun green check and the red quilting on it looks great.
Next are the borders. Hope I can get them done. My elbows are killing me but I think I can work through it! Off to see what everyone else is up to!

Christmas quiltalong update #1

Okay..this morning I got the backing pieced and got the quilt sandwiched together. Then, time to get Patrick up, dressed and fed. We started cleaning up the kitchen when I got a call from Hub. He lost his car keys at the golf course! So, off to drop off the spare key for him and then back. Finished cleaning up the kitchen and now I am finally sewing. I got the middle row of stars quilted.
I couldn't get a pic of the whole row where you could see the quilting, so I settled for 1 block. You can't really tell, but I am quilting those in a bright red thread. Should look pretty on the back! Now, off to check the blogs and then back to getting those stars all quilted! Oh, I have Susan Boyle's cd, The Gift, playing. Lord, I love this woman's voice!!

Christmas Quiltalong today..and in review

Sitting here having my coffee and gearing up for today's Christmas quiltalong. I am sad that it is the last one for the year and am already looking forward to next year! I decided to go back and see just what I got accomplished this past year during the Christmas quiltalong. Here they are: February:
I got my ornament table topper done and got my first House of Mercy quilt quilted. March:
Finished up this top made from Christmas swap blocks..still need to quilt it! April:
I got my Partridge in a Pear Tree top made. May:
My Christmas 9 patch was quilted! June: Nothing...wahhh! July:
Partridge in a Pear Tree is all quilted now! August:
4 sets of the blocks done for the Scatty Christmas Stars September:
Scatty Christmas Stars is put together and now is called A Simple Man's Christmas October:
Painted all day and only these cut out for my Bricks and Stepping Stones which is all done now and ready to be mailed out on Monday. Wow...I am so glad I went back and looked. I got a lot done on these Saturdays. Today's plan is to get A Simple Man's Christmas all quilted. That and all the household chores, of course!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Night Quilt League

Well, tonight is the last night of the Thursday Night Quilt League. No, I am not giving up my sewing night, I have just decided that I am going to have to move it to Wednesday nights from now on. The new season of Bones started and it is on at 9 on Thursday nights. Hub and I love to watch this show together and there is no way I am going to miss it. However, that means I don't get to come up to sew until after 10. I do like to sew late at night, but that does take a big chunk of my time away. So, simple solution= move it to Wednesday nights. Works for me! Tonight I was very scattered..nothing unusual for me lately. I pulled out lots of projects and put them back. I finally decided to work on these:
I cut these out at our retreat a few weeks back with my Accuquilt Go. Sue, one of my fellow Cobbled Court Quilt Circle members, brought it for me to try out. Boy, did it make quick work of these units!! Thanks, Sue!!!! Hannah's senior project for school involves the House of Mercy homeless shelter. She and hub made a trip down there yesterday for a meeting she had. I couldn't go, so she delivered some quilts I had completed for them. They were SO grateful. Motivates me to make even more for them!! One of the quilts that was delivered to them was this:
This little beauty was made by my fellow Cobbled Court quilt circle member, Cathy G. She brought it to the retreat and gifted it to me so that I could gift it to House of Mercy!! I was so touched that she would think of me and the shelter. You can bet it is going to THRILL some little girl there. That's it for tonight, I am fading fast. Saturday is the final Christmas quiltalong and I plan on quilting up my Simple Man's Christmas quilt. Lets hope my family likes that idea, too!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On its way to the humane society

I got the Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt all quilted and the binding machine stitched on this week. Tonight I will handsew the binding down and this one will be heading down to Alabama for the humane society fundraiser.
Time was limited to work on this one and I felt badly that I only had time to do a big meander pattern through the middle. So, to personalize it a bit for the humane society, I quilted this on the borders:
woof meow bark and purr. Hope it brings in a little money for them. What a great cause!! Off to do the binding now. Night!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Last post of the night..or is it first of the morning??

Well. It is 1:24 in the morning and I have just reorganized the shelves. I got the new fabric all put away and it is playing nicely with the old fabric. I wish I had taken a pic of how they were before, but I didn't..sigh. Here is what they look like now:
The bins of strips, squares and bricks used to be in the cubbies, but they had to get moved. I don't like them up on top, but this will have to work until I get some new shelves. The homespuns are all separated, the fat quarters are also separated and arranged by color and all the bigger pieces are also. It has been a good night and while I didn't get any sewing done, I feel like I have accomplished a lot and I work better when things are organized. So, with any luck, I will get to sew on Saturday and get to go through all the gifties from the retreat. I have so much more to show you!!!

The Treasure Trove

Well, I have made a start! I put all my old projects and Go! items away. Then, it was time to watch Bones. Since the show finished, I went treasure hunting! First, I started with this box:
Look at all the precut 5 inch squares!!! I think they multiplied just by taking them out of their box. Wow...what a bounty of charm squares!!
My mind can't even BEGIN to imagine all the quilts I am going to be able to make out of these!! They were very happy when I put them in the bins with the 5 inch squares I already had here at home. It was like a family reunion to them. I swear I could hear them squealing, they were so happy to be home!! Next I tackled a big white plastic bag full of goodies. What was I going to find in there???
Ohhhh!! There is a stack of fat quarter sized pieces on the left and anything bigger than that I have folded and stacked in the back. The piece up front is a large piece of flannel. Wooohoooo!! Anything else left in the bag?? Oooops! Sure is! Check out these:
Orphan blocks!! Oooh..and MORE orphan blocks:
Oh, my head is just going to EXPLODE with all the ideas for the goodies I have found in just these 2 packages!! Maybe I better stop right now before I look into anything else. Focus, Reen...focus! Remember you have projects you already have started and need to finish before you start anything new!! This is going to be so dang hard. It was bad enough with my OLD stash and all the projects I wanted to do. Adding all this new stuff is just TORTURE! lol Time to go find a place to put this fabric on the shelves. There will have to be some major overhauling done to get these in there. Hmmm...maybe..just maybe...I should check out the LAST box of fabric first so I know what needs to move where. Okay..I twisted my own arm. Will report back with the goodies in there!! Okay...this box was so well organized it took me no time at all to go through it! Check out the ton of homespuns that was in it!:
We have all the greens:
I just LOVE how they are tied up in bows!! The blues:
The browns:
A pile of novelty ones and Christmas ones:
A pile of assorted small pieces and a Moda pack:
Now, the hard part is deciding whether I should keep the homespuns by themselves or mix them in with my other fabrics according to color. My first thought was to keep them separate, but now I am not so sure. Sigh..I think I am thinking too hard about this! I think I will keep them separate and see how that feels. I can always blend them in later. Oy vey...I don't know! What would you do??

Hit by not one, but TWO storms!!

Well, I am back from a FABULOUS Cobble Court Quilters retreat!! I have sooo much to tell you about the retreat, but for right now, I am still keeping and savoring it and the wonderful memories all for myself. I will post pics and tell you all about it this weekend. I will say that it was in Litchfield, Ct and we did get hit with the snowstorm. Our estimate was about 14 inches of snow fall where we were, but I haven't had a "professional" total yet. I do know that despite having no heat, no power and no water since 6 pm Saturday night, we had the time of our lives even without sewing. That was the first storm. The second storm was a tornado..take a look:
This is what my sewing room looks like AFTER the retreat!! There are my projects, Go dies, etc that I brought to put away and there are 3 boxes of upholstery samples that my dad's wife saved for me from her job and my dad hauled up from Ky for me. OHHH...do I have a project I can't wait to start to make out of these!!!! There are also bags of goodies that my lovely retreat friends had for me. I am really the only REALLY scrappy quilter of the bunch of us. (There are 22 of us). So, while the ladies were cutting out fabrics for their projects, they saved all the scraps for ME!! Wheeeee!!! I felt (and still feel) like it was Christmas for me!! Some retreaters brought special little gifties, also. So there are bags of those, also! Last but not least in this pile are 2 boxes and a big bagful of fabrics that my pal, Kathy, passed along to me. I believe a friend of hers was in possession of most of this fabric due to the death of an aunt. Most of them are homespuns and the friend offered them to Kathy as she wasn't interested in them. Kathy also wasn't interested in them, but she knew who would be....ME! So, Kathy hauled them to her house and they then got to make their way home with me after the retreat. Wowsers...I am like a kid in a candy store in my very own house!!!! Why God blessed me with all these generous, kind, wonderful friends in my life, I have no idea, but you can bet I am so very, very grateful that He did!! Tonight is quilt league night, but I am too distracted by this wonderful mess in my sewing room to get any sewing done, I think. The plan is to get the room in order, starting with the easy stuff like my own old projects. Then I will have to reorganize my shelves (boy, am I going to need more shelves!!) the best I can adding in all this new fabric. That will take awhile as I know I will be fondling each and every piece before putting it away...dreaming of what I can do with all this. Last on my list will be going through all the gifties and mementos from the retreat and reliving it all. Ah...that is going to take a long time. As I sort, I will share pics of what I am doing..but don't hold your breath..this may take awhile as I bask in all the memories and friendships.