Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Year End Summary–quilts this time

At this time last year, I did a count of quilts completed and had a personal best of 26 done.  Not even close to that this year.  I could only scape up 6 pictures of quilts I had finished. And one of those I had to use picture of it before being quilted since I rushed out of the house with it to a baby shower as soon as it came out of the dryer.
finished quilts
Clockwise from top left; I Spy, Strip twist, Star is born, Celtic Solstice, Zoo Parade, Strip Twist 2
On the other hand, I have finished a lot more that are still just tops, waiting for an occasion to quilt them.
from the top left clockwise; disappearing nine-patch, framed 9 patch, Smokey mountains, pfefferneuse, ROTH, Jared takes a wife, streak of sunshine, construction stripe, cat sitting on film at 5
I’m really pleased to be able to count the Ring Around the Hexies (bottom right) as a finished top. That has been lingering, neglected, since coming back from North Carolina in 2013.
Instead of my head down, back to the world, mono-focused on quilts, attitude of 2013, I've been spending more time with family and working on other projects.
from the top left, clockwise; rebuilt stone pathway beside the driveway, raced on BIL’s boat, vacation with sister, Passover dinner, removed built-in bookcases from Den, visiting cousins, prepping our boat for the water
I think it has been a good mixture of quilts and family time, and will try and continue this. Although, we just got an invitation to our Boston cousin’s wedding in June so might have to put my head down and get to work on that quilt. I’ve picked Bonnie’s Smith Mountain Morning for it only in blue and yellow instead of blue and browns. Just need to finish the mystery first before I start cutting.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Year End Tally, but not of quilts

I don’t talk about my job, other than to refer to the fact of having to go to work. Some of the reason is due to the privacy, other reasons are it isn’t a very interesting job. Basically I do personal care on seniors in a nursing home. Nothing intellectual, fascinating or even of interest to most. My frequent description is that we “wash, dress, fed, repeat 26 times” .

But it is necessary and very important to the people I care for. And care is a very apt description. Because we do come to care for the patients and even though we know they are frail and near the end of their lives, it is sometimes a shock when the end is so soon.

The best part of my job is the people I meet.  They are all so different and so interesting, artists, fighter pilots, all sorts of fascinating lives they’ve led. The worst part isn’t the messy physical stuff or the heavy lifting that leaves me flat out exhausted some days. No, the worst part is losing them. Especially when I go in after a few days off and someone is gone, as I did today.

And this has been a hard year. I sat and counted them out today. 12 gone in 12 months.  Good bye Jean, Otto, Joe, Nicola, Mary, Donna, Ilsa, Ilene, Ruth, Kurt, Cy, Margaret, I’m glad I knew you.

Now I’m going to go sew something to lift my spirits. 100_2021

Monday, 29 December 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Link Up #5

Here it is Monday again, time for another Grand Illusion Mystery quilt link up
A wonderful treat of a clue this Friday, 4 patches to make.  With only 4 of one colour way and 25 of the other it seemed a cinch.  And wow it was.  I had to go look up those numbers in my print out to be sure. Somehow I had the number 40 written on my tally board. Always good to recheck the numbers from time to time.
With 40 written there, I thought I was only half done. Turns out I have 20 of that block which means 5 more and I will be finished. The 4 of unit B are already done and sitting the basket of completed components.

The other blocks were a little harder to find and required a fair bit of cleaning of the sewing area before they were unearthed.
The cluttered cutting area is a result of diving into the bin of 2 inch strips looking for neutrals. While doing that I decided I had too many and needed to sew up some 9 patches to thin out the bin.

An afternoon of QuiltCam was the perfect time to put pedal to the floor and I now have 30 nine patches done. More still in the partial assembly state.  I’m not sure yet if they will be made into Dancing Nines (free pattern on Bonnie’s blog)  or Rick-Rack Nines (from “Adventures with Leaders and Enders) Just having fun making them, with no thought to matching anything or even light/dark.

And speaking of light/dark, I think the lack of light is starting to take it’s toll on my geraniums. They are looking pretty bad, with just a few scraggly flowers left.
Now for the link-up and the fun of technology. Isn’t it amazing to be able to see what hundreds of other quilters are doing, across the globe. To all be sewing the same blocks, at the same time and be sharing our progress, totally fabulous. Thanks again, Bonnie, for this wonderful adventure.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Grand Illusion Update

Pretty sure this is week four but the time is just zipping by so it might even be week five, lol.
A lot more progress this week, due to a whole day dedicated to sewing. Friday I didn’t even dress, I went right from printing the new clue, to the sewing room with barely a stop for coffee. And right into the cutting.
And was I ever glad for my dash to the fabric store the day before. I felt my blacks weren’t scrappy enough so trekked over to my local quilting store. I was really looking for a particular batik I had found in my bin. I had only one strip of 2.5” left of it and no idea where I had found it originally. They didn’t have it but I picked up a couple of FQs of some others. I would insert a picture of them here but turns out I didn't take one before jumping in and cutting. 

The new clue didn’t get  all my attention, in fact I didn’t even get ten of them done
unit 4

Here they are, all nine of them. 
Instead I worked a little bit on every clue.
So now I have 65 of Unit One; 24 of Unit Two; and 40 of Unit Three.
And the Bargello is coming along nicely as my Leader and Ender, with one panel done and two ready to slice and dice.
Even more exciting to me, is the geraniums are still in bloom. Getting some yellowing in the leaves but the flowers just might last until the end of the mystery2014-12-22 006 
Now to link up with Bonnie at Quiltville and see how every one is coming along. Maybe I should get a coffee first, this could take a while, visiting over a hundred blogs.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Another Weekly Mystery Update

Here were are, another Monday update on the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt. Linking up with Bonnie and all the other mystery quilters over at Quiltville
This working for a living has really cutting into my sewing time this weekend, so much so that here is is Tuesday before I could get to the computer and post.
I got about six of Unit three clue
And I wasn’t too happy with the amount of green I had to use.  So Monday I stopped at my the local Value Village.  They had a 50% sale on and I found 4 light green shirts and a couple yards of green fabric to add in. 2014-12-16 005 Much happier with the strip sets now.

2014-12-16 006And speaking of strip sets, a second Bargello strip set got finished. More work on it since it is less intense to sew after a day of work. Definitely less thinking involved.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Mystery Quilt Sidelined

My progress on the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt became seriously sidelined.  Carrying the analogy further, if it was a train, it would be off the rails.
desk mess
Somewhere under all that fabric are the pieces for Clue 2.  A cutting frenzy has been taking place.
It happened so innocently. DH happened to mention the other night, that as much as he likes Celtic Solstice, it is too small for our bed. And while he likes the pattern very much, what he really craves is one of the “adult I Spys”.  Translation of that cryptic phrase he means the Scrappy Bargello.  That was the first pattern of Bonnies I attempted, trying in vain to tame the piles of fabric I had been gifted by my well meaning sister. Four years later, I have even more fabric, excessively more fabric, but no bargello quilt.  I did finish it, but then gifted it to my brother in law and his new wife.
So what he wants is a SB made with all the novelty fabrics he has encouraged me to buy.  As he was explaining this, my enthusiasm took over and I immediately attacked the piles of fabric with my Accuquilt Go and the 2.5” strip die. The mess on the desk is the result of that attack. The only fabric that was spared the cut was the basket for GIMQ.
bargello strip
  One strip done, 5 more to go.
Please excuse the quality of the photos, these were downloads from my phone. My camera is lost somewhere in all the fabric, I think. I know I had it here Monday.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt: Week 2

A working weekend meant less time for sewing but I did get a few cut and sewn of Clue 2. I tried a hybrid method, sort of a quick and dirty, slap together solution and am less than pleased with the result. So printed off the template and going to try it that way for a while.
Here’s what they look like so far:
Grand Illusion clue2 2014-12-08 004
Two unit 2s sewn, one unsewn and 50 of clue one done.

Grand Illusion clue2 2014-12-08 001
My inspiration for my pinks, still blooming. I’m hoping they will stay in bloom until the end of the mystery but it could be a bit of a long shot.

So now to link up with Bonnie and see every ones progress. It is so fascinating to see how different the pieces can look with a change in colour.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Challenge Update: Week 6

It is always surprising, all be it a pleasant suprise, when something takes less time than I anticipated, the quilt top I had started at the Collaboration Celebration class back in August 2013 for example.  This was the retreat/class I went to with classes by both Bonnie and her friend Mickey DePre, combining their techniques into a quilt. It has been languishing in a plastic drawer since last September.  Put away so I could focus on the sailboat wedding quilt and two scrappy trips quilts.  From time to time I would think about it but the thought was there was too much left to do for a quick project and that it would have to come out when I had time to focus on it alone.
Of course we all see where this is heading. I pulled it out  to be another challenge project and found there was very little left to do to get it all sewn together.
Here it is with all the setting triangles done and ready to assemble.
I held off posting yesterday hoping to have a finished top to show but my machine didn’t cooperate. And alas it is only half way together. But that is a lot farther than it was while stuck in a drawer so I’m pleased with the progress.
Now to link up with Jo

Monday, 1 December 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt : Week1

I’m so excited to be starting a new Mystery Quilt.  This will be my fourth and I have already made myself firm resolutions to keep up with the clues and most of all get things cut. Also to have fun because that is the important part of quilting, it should be fun. It is definitely fun to link up on Monday and see the progress everyone has made, their fabrics and even unique colour choices. So check them all out over at Quiltville.
My progress was totally turtley this weekend. Yes, spell check doesn’t recognize that word either, guess it must be made up, but it describes what my sewing was like perfectly. Life got in the way.  Starting with a staff party Friday night, reached the heights on Saturday with hours spent at Costco negotiating a new cell phone, then ended Sunday with a gorgeous +16C day, perfect for being outside doing yard work.
Excuses out of the way, here is what I did get done in between all that.
2014-11-30 006
GIMQ bkndish

I’ve cut about 150 HST pairs and about 20 squares  of blacks and yellows. Plus put together two blocks to test the cutting and sewing. Everything is matching up the way it should.  And I did some more on  Ring Around the Hexies. It went together faster than I thought, turns out I didn’t have as much left to cut as I imagined.
That’s my progress, now to see what  all the other mystery quilters have been up to.