Wednesday 30 October 2019

A Fresh Start

It's time for a fresh start on here. A lot has happened since I last posted, things that kept me too busy to write and some that were too personal to talk about ( at least at the time they were happening).
But tomorrow Bonnie releases the fabric colours for this years mystery and I want to be ready to jump in, so time to play catch up.
In January during a trip home, my oldest daughter opened up to us on the problems ongoing in her marriage. We spent the next month and a half devising a plan to get her out of it. Since she was on the other side of the country this was complex. We pulled it off and extracted her without too much trouble. Then came the work of fitting her into out downsized life here. Fast forward a few months and my nonagenarian in-laws decended into a medical crisis and needed to be relocated into a seniors home. Still dealing with the aftermath of that move to this day. Throw in my second daughter's marriage on the east coast just to add some happiness to the drama.
Between all this, the sewing continued, quilts were made and gifted, fabric was bought. The only thing that didn't happen, was blogging. Time to correct that omission.
First up: last years mystery.
Usually I need Jo at Jo's Country Junction to kick start me into finishing last year's mystery but not this year. It actually got finish some time in February, date uncertain, due to the Monday sewing group I was in. That worked so well I joined up again this fall and plan to use the mystery as my Monday project.
  There it is in all it's finished top glory, not quilted as yet. Too busy with other tops.
This one at the moment is under the needle and would even be finished if I hadn't run out of quilting thread. See that cone of thread on the machine. Been using it for over four years and it finally ended. New ones are on the way but couldn't work on it even if I did have thread, son is sleeping in my quilting room. Why ? That's a tale for another post.

Tuesday 8 January 2019

What? IT’s Tuesday? Already?

Woops. I was so busy sewing yesterday that it completely slipped my mind to blog. What was I so busy with? The final clues of the mystery of course.
It was the first sewing day of the year with the group and I used it to full extent. Pedal to the floor ( actually button mashing ‘cause I took my Featherweight).  Finished putting together the blue/neutral HST and the chevrons. Big sense of accomplishment from both having all of them done and ready to sew, and getting all of them together plus ironed. And I did get all the red/neutral 4 patches made into 16 patches. Well, made into the 24 that we needed. If only I had all the orange string pieces done I could start putting those blocks together.
2019-01-08 11.25.46 Here’s my stack of units in their trays. This has become my favourite way to store completed and working on units. Food trays from Costco, with the lid to seal them up when I’m not working on them. And they stack nicely in the bag that I take to the sewing group. In the middle is the tray of orange pieces with a puny 21 done. I was sure I had more. So, time for a clean up to see where the missing pieces are hiding.
Part of the clean up is getting a handle on the amount of projects spread over my work area. So I spread them all over my bed instead. And organized them by project. Turns out I had 6 things on the go. No wonder I was running out of room to sew.
WIP tabulatedFrom the top left: Show Off; A Day at the Beach; Toy Box Bargello.
From the bottom left: Blue Diamond; Good Fortune; HST Sampler; Talking Turkey.
( Blue Diamond is a Becky pattern that’s actual name is Diamond Row, which I can never remember so just call blue diamond).  Show Off is another Becky pattern that is now a finished top. Sewed the final border on yesterday. 
Now that I’ve gotten them corralled into containers and grouped in their patterns I can focus on finishing.  Blue Diamond is the closes to completion so that will be the goal today.
After I find the orange rectangles I was looking for..  And after I link up  with Bonnie.

Monday 31 December 2018

Another Monday, another link-up

Woot woot ! I’m on a roll. Both with the posting and the sewing. Enough so that I almost thought I”d get this done early today. But life gets complicated some times so here it is halfway through the day before I get anything to link to Bonnie. On the bright side, it is still Monday.
I didn’t get all of the outstanding units finished but I did make a huge dent in the pile.,
2018-12-31 15.18.48 Doing the string piecing on papers this big was a new one for me, but boy is it going fast.
The orange ones, not so fast. Working with papers that small ( I went and cut them all before I realized how fiddly it was) is time consuming. So I fudged a bit and started sewing strips, then cutting them down to size. That is speeding things up.
And boy was I ever glad for the Scrap User System with the last clue. I did need to cut some neutrals, they always seem to be depleted. But digging through my 2 inch bin I discovered a whole roll of orange strips from a Strip Exchange I took part in three (?) years ago. They are adding lots of variety to my quarter square triangles.
2018-12-31 15.18.32
Almost finished sewing these together, then I’ll go back to strings.
This has really rekindled my mojo. And given that my sewing group is on hiatus for the holidays I needed it.  Who knows, maybe by the time the group starts up again in the new year we will be putting blocks together. And this time I will have all the pieces.
Now off to post this and link up with Bonnie.

Monday 24 December 2018

Monday Linkup

Another Mystery Monday Link up with Bonnie ?  Yeah, I stirred my stumps and got writing in an attempt to get this posted on time. Even though Bonnie keeps the link open until Thursday, I always feel like I’m running behind if I don’t write and link on the Monday.
This week I am sort of more behind, in that I haven’t even cut the clue we were given on Friday. Instead I went down to the cutting table and finished cutting all the missing parts for the previous weeks clues. That has been my focus for the past three days, pushing fabric under the rotary blade and under the needle. The result has been positive. Clue number three is almost finished and clue two is sitting waiting it’s turn under the needle.
2018-12-24 11.36.082018-12-24 11.36.18

Once I get these caught up to date, then I will turn to cutting the last clue. I’ve seen too many times before that if I am missing parts of a clue the whole process grinds to a halt once it comes time to piece the blocks together. Then the project sits in bins, waiting for me to regain my momentum. Trying a different approach this year, we’ll see how well that works out.
Hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday season.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Mystery Monday Link-up

Well, finally I have something to post. Actually, I’ve been doing lots of sewing. It’s just a combination of bad habits that have kept me from writing posts. Things like procrastination, distractibility and quilters attention disorder.  But I’m going to get back to it.
If I had posted the first week, I would have been very confident. I had completed all my cutting and piecing was right on track.
2018-11-26 15.14.38
The second week started not as confident. I didn’t have enough blues for my liking, due to the amount I’ve been using. ( seriously, did every quilt I did last year need blue?). So all the pieces didn’t get cut, therfore all didn’t get sewn. New blue was purchased at my Monday sewing group. ( so handy that it is in a quilt shop).  But already falling behind since that was the week I decided to finish a top for my nephew’s present.
2018-12-19 12.38.57
The third week, I  fell even more behind. While I did get all the green pieces cut, I only have a quarter of the neutrals cut and marked. And none of them sewn.
2018-12-19 12.37.22
And that brings me to this week. I pulled all the orange scraps and strings that I could find in various bins. Plus I sliced some of the fabrics I had pulled for this mystery. And I cut all the pieces of paper I would need. That was all ready to take to my Monday group and sew. Which did happen for a grand total of 10 completed. Given that it was also the Xmas luncheon for the group, I felt it was pretty productive. Also, I was alternating with the red strings for a Talking Turkey that has been ongoing since spring.
2018-12-19 12.36.32
And the quilt for my nephew?  Completed and mailed. It was Nifty Thrifty from one of Bonnie’s books ( will have to look up which one later because that is the sort of thing that totally distracts me from finishing these posts. If i get up and go look in the sewing room for the book, I will start finding things to work on and never get back to this and end up discarding it)
2018-12-15 14.22.30
So, there it is. A finished blog post to link up with Bonnie. Going to go put a gold star on my calendar !

Monday 30 July 2018

Strings ! ( and cousins)

I did get some work done on my Spiderweb strings this week. But there was a lot more cousins than strings going on around here.
My husband has a lot of cousins. Of course most of them are not first cousins or even in the same generation. So when I am talking about visiting cousins, or cousin’s weddings it is almost always his side of the family. And they are almost always first cousins once removed or second (even third) cousins.
 And as much as I gripe about it,  I really do like the fact that we are so connected with what would be in my family distant relatives.  Heck, I haven’t even talked to one of my cousins in years, let alone fly across the country to their social events. With all of the traveling and visiting that we do, it was time this week for our turn to be visited. Twice. Yikes. Within the space of eight days, we had two sets of guests.

Almost no pictures were taken during the visits. Just spending time together and talking, with some touring around our area. I did try to take one when we stopped at a scenic lookout over the Niagara River but our Boston cousin doesn't want any pictures taken of her so that didn't work out as planned.

It was fun to see them but it didn’t leave much sewing time.

So what little time I had, I squeezed in some string piecing at my bedroom machine. With everything already to go, I was able to zip through a few strips in the early morning before breakfast.
2018-07-30 08.46.152018-07-22 16.33.09

The picture of the completed blocks is from back when I had 11 of them done. There are now 14 and I have enough of the centre kites cut to make 20 blocks. The last kite is a little skinny on one side but it will do. I could have stopped at 16 but I don’t like square quilts for some reason. The next decision is what to use as a border.
While I think about that, time to link up with Jo.
Jo's String Challenge update

Thursday 12 July 2018

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along

All right ! I’m excited to start this. I enjoy taking part in Jo's quilt alongs. Jo's link up
I’ve been distracted and busy with other things these past months. ( Gardens, family, garden, etc. ) But I did get some quilting done.
I believe the last time I blogged I mentioned a wedding quilt I was about to start. Done and presented.
2018-06-12 10.07.03
Asymmetrical Diamond
A simple pattern in two colours, it went together fast. I did this pattern before for a wedding quilt only that time I used 9.5 inch triangles. This time I stayed with the 8.5 inch that the pattern originally called for, making it more lap quilt size.
Another finish was the rainbow bargello I attempted.
2018-06-14 11.48.44
Rainbow Bargello
I was very pleased with the finished quilt. Not so pleased when the friend I had made it for declined to accept it. Oh well, her reasoning was valid and flattering. She said it was too good to give to the persons she had intended it for, they wouldn’t appreciate it.  So it goes.
I also buckled down and quilted some of my backlog of UFOs. The Star Struck by Bonnie that I started back in Feb. 2015. It is now waiting for binding. Plus I finished quilting on the quarter section of the Big Star quilt in Black and Grey that I started back in Nov. 2015.
While those two still need more work, one  other UFO is actually a finish. Bonnie’s mystery quilt from 2012, Easy Street. This one is also hanging as an unfinished top in my header photo. It was claimed as “my quilt” by my younger daughter and languished in the UFO pile. Mostly because I was intimidated by it’s size and there was no hard deadline for it. Then there was a deadline – she was moving away, far away. 1800 km away. ( I know the number well as I just finished driving there and back to deliver her stuff). Time to get quilting.

2018-06-29 12.35.40
Easy Street
2018-06-29 12.35.58
Back of Easy Street
So that’s what I’ve been doing while I haven’t been on the computer.
Now to get my fabrics together for the Double Wedding Ring, I know I saw them around here some where…