Thursday, 30 June 2016

UFO Update

Yikes, it's Thursday already. I had such good intentions to write an update yesterday but the day just slide away in projects. There always seems to be another thing to do here at "the end of the road". That's the name my hubby has given our new place as a word play on the fact that we are literally at the end of a dead end street and that this is meant to be our downsizing for retirement. 

So the update: I did finish the Scrappy Mountain blocks and got them all sewn together. Even while we were busy with family activities and company, having all the blocks sub-cut and stacked up beside my 301 I was able to put in some sewing everyday. However, the grand total came to 44 blocks which seems a strange number and I was sure I had more squares cut at one time but that's what I have here and now. I choose to go with a 5 X 8 layout and use the leftover blocks to swap out some poor colour choices. Blocks that were too close in value so you could hardly see the mountain. And here it is.

Just needs a border to finish it off. It came out an almost square 60'' by 61''. And for a lap quilt that's ok. But putting it aside for a day or two while I finish a baby quilt. Which is also a UFO. We leave for Nova Scotia in three weeks and I suddenly remembered two babies down there that are due quilts. So this required setting up my basting wall again. Well, not really, I could have basted on the floor or dining table but once hubby saw what I was doing he had to get the cardboard and improvise a wall for me. 
( The box of pop is an essential support) It's only temporary as the permanent wall will be installed in the quilting shed yet to be built)
And then before I could get the machine threaded to quilt this, a call to help with some yard work.
 How could I resist? 
So off to link up with Jo and see what everyone has accomplished. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

UFO update

Whoo hoo, I am ready for this update. I have actually been making progress on this. Partly due to an experiment in sub-cutting. While I had my Accucut out doing 2 inch strips for a swap I decided to experiment with sub-cutting the mountains.
It lined up well. The finished HST comes out slightly over 8 inches and just needed trimming up before slicing. This way the cutter does both. It is still a little long and I will have to trim the finished block but I'm happy with the results so far.

Slicing these up really was my bottle neck and getting a faster way to do it has propelled me forward.
And I thought I had a whole bunch done but when I laid them out for a picture I only had increased my stack by four.
But I have quite a few half blocks waiting for the other half to be sewn.
Plus while watching QuiltCam last night I finished slicing the big blocks into  HST pairs.
Definitely feeling I've accomplished a decent amount for the week. Which is good because it all will be set aside for a family weekend as we all get together to celebrate my in-law's 65th wedding anniversary. My east coast daughter is flying in tonight and our cousin from Boston who we stay with while traveling is arriving Saturday and sleeping here. I don't see much opportunity for sewing in my near future. In addition, that cutting station is on my dining room table and will need to be put away. But I'll put that stack of HST by my 301 and pick away at them when I can.

Now to link up with Jo over at Jo's Country Junction to see what everyone else has been doing.
Opps, I forgot to include a picture of the completed blocks again. All 18 of them.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Challenge time

Once again Jo over at Jo's Country Junction has started another UFO challenge. This seems to fit right in with what I am doing anyway so why not. The challenge is to finish a Bonnie UFO and that's just what I started to do yesterday.
The pattern I've picked is the Majestic Mountains from Bonnie's Free Patterns tab here.  I cut out the squares for this some time ago and started putting the mountains together but didn't like the setting I had chosen. So back to the layouts to pick a new one and off to cut and sew. Heigh Ho.
This is my new piecing set up. Just the 301 and some fabric. Most everything else is either boxed up or down in the basement room, which is still to full to work in. I did get a lot of boxes unpacked and on the shelves.

That was because I was looking for a particular book, Scraps and Shirttails II, so I could work out what was going wrong with my Holy Toledo. I finally found the book but it didn't help. I still couldn't get it together right.

I actually didn't get much sewing done today because it was so nice we spent most of the afternoon and into the evening, working in the yard. It's already starting to look better. Just need to add some flowers.
And I even got to use the ride-on mower today. I did the part way past the second tree. It's a lot of yard. The bare looking part was dug up last fall and we thought it was going to be leveled and seeded but it turns out they aren't coming back to do it so we are working on filling in the ruts and craters and leveling it all out. Maybe if it rains tomorrow I can get some sewing done.
Now to link up with Jo

Monday, 16 May 2016

Finding Focus

Tomorrow it will be two weeks since the horrendous fire raged out of control in Fort McMurray. Our family followed anxiously on facebook as my niece fled  the chaos, first south, then when that road was blocked, north to safety.  And in Nova Scotia my daughter and her fiance waited to hear if his mother had gotten out. This disaster touched so many lives in our country. And of course the next day the call went out for quilts.

Since our people are safe and it looks like my niece has not lost her home, I felt the need to do something for someone. The abandoned Holy Toledo came to mind as being closest to finished ( and I could see the box it was packed in ).  But then lots of activities got in the way of sewing. First it was getting this place in order for company so we could have my in-laws over for Mother’s Day. Done and Done ( although the guest bedroom will now need intense work to sort out what was shoved in there when the weather turned bad and we need seating inside). 
2016-05-16 11.12.38.jpgThen it was time to set up the garden since that was my present. Hubby built me raised beds and bought a load of dirt for them. So that took up a day or two.
Next it was time to get Holy Toledo out of the box and try to repair the mistakes. Several days later, I laid it out to see how it was going and found it even worse. Not only several blocks were turned the wrong way again. But due to a lack of design wall, I had several places where the same fabric was meeting up and really bothering me. So back in a box it goes, Hubby says he doesn't see a problem with it and will be happy to have it, just make it big enough to wrap up in.

So maybe another row or two. In the mean time, I'm moving on to the Majestic Mountains pattern. I have blocks already cut for it and a few assembled. Just have to find the ironing board. I'm pretty sure I saw it around here somewhere....

Monday, 9 May 2016

A month into the transition

Coming up for air, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I've been searching for a title to describe the last few weeks. And nothing does it justice. The move was quite possibly the worst time of my life and that's including three bouts of intense labour ( for three children who were absolutely worth every second). But the thing is, even my worst delivery was less than 24 hours. This went on for over a week. Days of intense packing, loading boxes on a trailer and then unloading, bringing the trailer back and starting all over again the next day. It was insane to think we could ever do it without professional help. And in the end we had to call a company that comes and purges your junk. It took 6 guys 3 hours to empty what was left in the house. But then that wasn't even empty enough, my husband, daughter and I worked another 5 hours and filled a 10 ft truck with every last scrap. All of this in order to fulfil a condition of the contract that said the buyer could hold back money if the house wasn't bare to the bones. And she was enforcing it, even came and checked on the progress twice that day.
But enough of that, it is over and the sun is shining. And soon I might even sew. But first a few pics of the outside.
 This is a shot from the far end of the property. Lots of grass to mow, luckily the ride-on mower came with the house. Too bad the pool did, my husband is not a fan of pools.
 We are on the outskirts of town and can get away with having an outside fire. As long as we have a hot dog near-by to pretend we are cooking. By-laws ya know. So this is the fire pit, only it is more of a mound. Looks like someone was having quite a few fires.
 Too bad we hadn't included the bare-bones condition, all this junk was left behind for us to deal with. Including this tarp shed which is definitely a leaky piece of junk.
The deck is also on the do something about it list. I think I counted 5 different levels.

A quick peek into the most important area.
Soon this will be the sewing room.  Just a small matter of making some order out of a pile of boxes.
I did find an iron and put it to good use. Sewed a pair of curtains for my son's bedroom. 

Slowly we find places for stuff and become familiar with our surroundings  here. Which is good, because I never, ever want to move again. Seriously, not going.

Monday, 14 March 2016

What a difference a day can make

There is some superstition about speaking of good things and causing them to go awry or jinxing them. I'm sure if I google it I could find the whole history of that kind of magical thinking. But I certainly saw an example of it in practice after I posted about our new house-to-be.
The sellers left on March Break. They did not return a signed contract before leaving. They sent back a contract, late again, changing the date from what we had sent. So, legally we have no deal.
So we went looking for another house. And found one. And within 24 hours had viewed the house and had a signed agreement to buy. Such a pleasure working with people who really want to sell and know how to return documents on time.
Now back to packing.
Here's where we will be going

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Where am I ????

Shortly after my last post we started looking at houses in a two stage plan to downsize and simplify our lives in the final year or two before my husband retires. ( he will have the magic number in a years time but isn’t sure if he will go or stay on longer)

Well the plan got accelerated to warp speed when our agent tipped off his office to our house being potentially for sale. Before we could even get ready for listing, we were sold. Which we thought was a good thing, as it meant we didn’t have to prep the house for sale and could focus our efforts instead on the new house. Oh, yeah, we needed a new house.

We found one we wanted and put in an offer. Road-blocks and detours have abounded, the latest being the most egregious. The sellers want to delay the closing another week as they will be away for March break and unable to complete the paper work. We have already had to set the date back a week in order to get the land title cleared up, now another week. Which gives us very little time between the two sales. We had a wonderful plan where we had a whole month to get renovations done and moved in now….not so much.

So that’s where I’ve been, touring houses,measuring rooms, packing boxes ( 24 from the quilting room and still not finished) looking at new cabinets, and tearing my hair out. Not much room in there for sewing.
But I’ll be back…
And maybe I'll be writing from here