Wednesday, 27 December 2017

UFO Challenge update

Oh my, I went down to get some pictures of the progress and totally lost the rest of the day.
I haven’t been sewing downstairs much this week but I did get a good chunk of my UFO project together.
This was a mystery quilt and I am now working on clue 8 of 9. And that means pieces are starting to look like something. The little nine patches and strip pieces are going together to make big blocks.
2017-12-27 14.01.21
Please excuse the streak of sunshine. The time of day I like to work in my basement sewing room is mid-afternoon when the sun is shinning in my window. It makes the cutting easier but messes up the photos.
There are still a lot of pieces to go. However this assembly requires precision, with careful placement of blocks, so I only work on it when I have a big chunk of uninterrupted time.
2017-12-27 14.02.37 Which hasn’t been that frequent. Mostly I've been running down to cut more pieces to then bring up to the sewing machine in my bedroom.
Slowly it will get done, it has been waiting for two years, a few more days is nothing.  Now to link up with Jo's UFO challenge

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A new challenge !

And challenge accepted.
Jo has issued a challenge to finish a sampler/BOM project and do I have one? Yes I do. Not very old, it is a BOM for 2017 which was Canada’s 150th birthday. Several quilting projects were inspired by that occasion, fortunately I only signed up for one.
2017-12-26 10.32.06As you can see from the glare, they are mostly all still in their packages. Untouched. Except for the first month which I did do. And as Jo said on her post, the process of all that work for only one block seemed a waste of time and effort.

2017-12-26 10.35.20This was an on-line signup, and they had my credit card to bill every month.  So even after I gave up on it, the patterns kept coming. I didn’t have to go anywhere, they came to me, every month, two of them a month. It became overwhelming after the second month and I just shoved them away, a couple not even opening the paper envelope they came in.
I felt guilty because I was paying for them and not using them but had too many other things on the go to tackle the backlog.
I did get the first months blocks done.

So I’m not completely behind. LOL.
Now with Jo’s help I will get this done.
The first step is admitting the problem right? The first step here is to link up with Jo's Challenge because she always gets me moving on a project. Almost as good as a boot in the rear. EDIT: oops, it wasn't a link-up today, just a start up post.

The second step was getting them all out and in a project box. Now to go pick a fabric for the next month's block.


Ringo Lake Mystery Link Up

I feel very confident writing this week. Lots of progress was made on all the clues. Clue 2 is almost done.  It could have been checked off however I came up 2 pieces short. This could just be that a couple of the stacks clipped together have more than 10.  Rather than go through and recount them all, I figured it was simplier to cut and sew two more. And cleaning off the cutting board I found one, so only had to make one more.
I also am feeling more confident because I have the clues all organized, sorted and tabulated. Doing that makes me more relaxed. In my old sewing room, in my  previous house, I had a white board stuck on the wall over my cutting table where I tracked the clues and could see at a glance what needed to be cut, sewn or was done.  That didn’t come with us and I have been missing it.  Fortunately when my husband was cleaning out his cubical at the office prior to retiring last month, he brought home an easel pad. 2017-12-26 10.37.29
While it doesn’t provide the wipe-off ability of the white board, it does give me a place to chart what is going on in the mystery.(When taking the picture I put a piece of white paper over the numbers since we’re not supposed to be sharing them.)
Then as a second step to organizing, I assembled the pieces for each clue on their own paper plate.
2017-12-26 10.39.242017-12-26 10.39.57This is way easier to carry them upstairs all intact to the machine to work on and back down to the cutting room to replenish when I run out of pieces. Which I have done. Several days of intense sewing has depleted the cut browns and I need to resupply.
But before I do that (since the chances of me resurfacing for several hours after going to the downstairs room are 1. slim, 2. none) time to write this and link up with Bonnie and the other mystery quilters.  How did you do this week?

Monday, 25 December 2017

String Link Up

Linking up with Jo's Country Junction to share progress on my string projects.
I got so many of the Spider Web pieces done I had to go cut another batch. Yay. Plus during the drive to my In Laws today I de-papered the finished pieces. As an attempt to do it as I go, rather than have the whole bunch to do at the end.

I also finished a whole stack of the neutral blocks and de-papered a bunch while we were sitting around the fireplace chit-chatting. However the stack I had just finished still needs to be trimmed, the de-papering was catch up with ones already done weeks ago.

At the same time as I was working on these, pieces of the new mystery passed through the machine but I will do a separate post on them tomorrow.

We are mid-calf deep in snow and looking very picturesque. DSCN1341Fortunately the roads are well cleared and our trip in the in-laws was easy. Things are very relaxed and low-key here as our celebration has already finished and my husband even started putting away decorations today. He does the train, it needs to have the batteries removed for the year long storage.
I hope everyone’s celebrations are as stress-free and joyous as it has been here.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Monday, Monday

Blame it on Bonnie, she said it first and now that tune is stuck in my head.  And she’s also the source of my obsession,  fondness for recycled shirts as fabric. Although Jo was the source of the box that I picked up Friday.  Since I am linking with both, I will apportion blame equally. Thus the fabric overload situation I am currently dealing with. Not only did I get a ginormous box of shirts that need to be cut up, I also picked up a half dozen packages from Quilted Twins that have been accumulating at my US mail box.  I received so much fabric I didn’t know which to fondle first.

  2017-12-17 14.23.22
So I left it all and went to sew. And sew, and sew. These string blocks seem to be going on forever. Just when I think I am coming to the end of the neutral blocks, I find another clip of papers. Or two.2017-12-18 11.35.49

I cut more of the kites for the Spider Web blocks while I was down cutting pieces for the mystery clue 4 . At the same time I measured the kite fabric so I would have an idea of how many more I can make. Lots and lots.  (110 at least)
2017-12-18 10.47.15
And in between the two string projects, I sewed some mystery pieces.  They still need to be ironed on the next trip to the basement sewing room but here they are.
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So that brings me up to date on everything I’m working on. Now to link up and see what everyone else has done.

Bonnie's Mystery Link UP

Jo's String Quilt Link UP

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Wednesday UFO update

I almost said that I had forgotten that today was Thursday but that would be untrue. I haven`t lost track of the days, I`ve just been busy. Hanukkah started this week and I had a whole lot of stuff to do to get ready for it.  Thus most of the sewing I have been doing hasn`t been on UFOs but on the string projects and Bonnie`s new mystery. Mostly because they are upstairs in my bedroom ready to sew on whenever I catch a few minutes.
Here`s hoping for better progress next week. Linking up with Jo`s Country Ufo-challenge

Monday, 11 December 2017

Monday Link up

What a way to start a week, two link ups to do. First up Bonnie's Mystery Monday Link UP.
This clue really proved the decision to go with a solid for both my neutral and coral was the right one ( for me at least).  The coral I picked has no right side, so the diamond shape can be cut and flipped either way. Same with the neutral which is almost like a muslin. This means a big saving in cutting time and almost no thought required in sewing , just pick up a piece and sew it.
2017-12-11 11.33.40 I do have to make sure I have an equal number of both but at the moment that isn’t an issue. I just put one through in one direction and the next in the other.
And in between them, I put through a string piece. I have two projects that I am working on with strings. The first is another mystery quilt and that needs the neutral blocks at the top of the picture.  Plus it needs another size going diagonally. I have been working on both
And in the strawberry box at the top of this picture are a whole bunch of shirt strings. I did some cutting of 22017-12-11 inch strips and these are the leftover from the sides . I am using them in a Spider Web quilt from Bonnie’s Free Patterns page. The hope was this would clear out a large amount of the shirts, some of which have been in my stash since I started using shirts several years ago now. However the Spider Web doesn’t seem to consume as much as I hoped and another string quilt out of shirts might be needed. String X maybe?
2017-12-11 11.25.43 I’m not sure how many blocks I will do for this, Bonnie used a 5 X 7 setting which would be 140 of these. I have just been cutting strips of the pinkish fabric into the kite shape and sewing them up. When I finish a bunch, I cut more. There was a yard of the fabric when I started and I just want it gone. The colour didn’t work with any quilt I tried to use it in.  Maybe today I can measure to see what is left and how many more I can get out of it.
2017-12-11 12.17.36
So that was my weekend. We had a snowstorm outside and I just sat and  sewed. I moved these projects to my bedroom machine which a recent rearrangement has placed in front of the window. So I can watch the snow come down and string away. Pure bliss.
Now to link up with  Jo's String Challenge. I’m glad she threw this out there, it’s really given me a kick in the rear to get moving on these.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

UFO update

I finished a whole clue of my current UFO, a mystery from 2015 by Deb over at My Quilty World ,Ribbons of Love.  Unfortunately all I have to show for it is a stack of blocks. Not yet at the point where is starts to look like something.
A whole bunch of sewing left to do, (the blocks on the wall aren't really supposed to go together like that)
2017-12-04 14.08.212017-12-06 20.39.082017-12-06 20.41.21
And I also started a project that has been on the to-do list for a long time. Gifts for my husband’s co-workers using fabric picked up on our trip to Iowa.  They are Packers fans so we found some team fabric and I had been tasked with coming up with gifts using it.
2017-12-06 20.47.18 My thought was a wine bottle gift bag and mug-rugs ,aka coasters, with the remains. The Christmas fabric bag was a prototype to test the pattern. Which was a good thing, the pattern I found had the fabric going sideways. Not a big deal with snowmen, a big deal with the lettering on the Packer fabric. So I figured out how to make it with the fabric running the right way. I also need to get some smaller ribbon. All I could find in my stash of non-quilty sewing stuff was inch and a half, really only needs one inch. So two more things to work on, smaller ribbon and the mug-rugs.
So that’s what I’ve been doing this week, off to see what Jo and everyone else have been doing.
Jo's Ufo Challenge

Monday, 4 December 2017

Mystery Link up–Week 2

I missed the first week of link ups. Went down to the sewing room to take a picture and got totally distracted for the rest of the day and most of the week.
To start off, here are my chosen fabrics. Although Bonnie called for all scrappy, this time I am going for two constants. The neutral and the coral. Mostly because this was pretty much the only fabric I had in coral, and there was more than enough of it. I went constant with the neutral also because it was a large piece of fabric in my stash and I wanted to move it out. Plus when the pattern calls for strips I can pull out my Accuquilt and slice a whole bunch.
20171031_105407 At the time I took this picture I thought I would do constant with all the colours but now have a whole selection of browns and blues.
20171204_113022It feels like I am off to a good start on this one. Clue one is finished and Two is cut and well on the way to being finished this week. Looking forward to the next one.
And now to link up with Bonnie

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Update on UFOs

Really feel like I am making some progress this week.
I got back to the Neutral Jacob’s Ladder. Figured out how to make the few strips of special fabric I had go all the way around the border. Then got a back  pieced for it. And they are all hanging on the basting wall ready to be basted. Except I just noticed one of the border needs a touch up with the iron, so it will have to come down again.

2017-11-29 15.56.45 See the border fabric, it is really unique and I have had a hard time figuring out where to use it. So much so , that I chopped up one length for string piecing. That’s why I thought it was going to be tough to get enough to go around. But I had seven strips and given the large blank areas it was easy enough to put all the cut off bits from the sides onto the top and bottom. The colour was a strange one as well, beige with a greenish tinge and it just happened to match the flecks of colour in the brown border. Looking at it now I can see the backing is obviously too large and will have to be cut down.

As well as this, I also worked on the last border of last year’s Bonnie mystery. And can now cross that off the to-do list. It is a completed top.

2017-11-29 15.49.06So, with two UFO’s off my list, what is next? Another mystery, this time from 2015 and from a different designer.
2017-11-29 16.22.27 Three more clues to go.
Now to link up with Jo and see what everyone else has done this week.
Jo's Country Junction

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Weekly UFO update

This is it, the last two days before the new Bonnie Hunter Mystery starts. And have I finished last year’s?  No. Despite all the good intentions last Wednesday, still not done.
At the moment it is heaped up on the ironing board waiting to have the first border ironed. This was the one I thought was missing the units but found them. After getting that all put together, I had a whole bunch of 4 patches left . Was this another ooopsie ? Back to the pattern to check,  no mistake, there is another border.  So now putting that one together.
2017-11-22 11.11.04

The borders on the Jacob’s ladder were sidelined by a brilliant idea that required finding a specific fabric.  It was eventually found and I might get back to working on it soon.
While I was searching for the fabric I wanted for a middle border, I got totally sidetracked by a shirts project. This is one of Becky Petersen’s patterns and I knew I had cut the centre blocks for it some time ago. But totally messed up the room looking though every bin of shirts for them. 
2017-11-22 11.12.14 Finally did find them in a basket on the shelf.  At which point I looked at the mess of shirts and decided something  needed to be done about them. ( but after I put two blocks together, isn’t this cute? The centre has the pocket from the shirt front. That’s why I couldn’t just cut new blocks)
So for the past three days I have been cutting and sorting and stacking. Plus running some through the Accuquilt strip cutters. It feels like I have made some progress.
Now I just have to get it all put away in some order so I can find fabrics when I want them.
2017-11-22 11.10.49 Not much to look at but they are in specific piles and I just need to cut some more strips before I put them away. I found a whole stash of shirt fronts I had forgotten about and now am thinking of doing some aprons from them.  Or just put them back in a bin until after a few more things are finished. Now to see what is happening with everyone else this week and link up with Jo

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

UFO update

Well, the monster quilt is finished. I was so excited about , I even wrote an extra blog post about it Here .
And today, we seemed to be getting a break in the overcast, grey skies so I threw it in the washer. But by the time it had cycled to the end, the sunshine was gone. Still hung it out to take a picture.
2017-11-15 12.55.37
With that done, the question arose, what to do next. There are so many to finish. But with less than two weeks until the mystery starts the only choice could be the last mystery.  And so I started. Much better starting position this year in that all my pieces were made and I had worked on the sashing pieces over the summer so they were all done. It simply was time to put it all together.
2017-11-14 20.45.57A brief panic last night when I came up short 10 units for the border. But I was pretty sure they were done and just missing in the sewing room. So I undertook to rearrange everything looking for them. And got a better shelf arrangement so the bins of pieces I use frequently are closer to hand than the backings which were taking centremost . Soon enough the missing was found, just leaving a mess to put away. And I hope to be able to report this done by next week.
It might have been today but I got another parcel from the Quilted Twins and it sent me off in a totally different direction for most of the day – borders for the neutral Jacobs Ladder.  Heading back down to finish them off as soon as I link up with Jo.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Finished !! Finally

There should be even more exclamation , a fanfare of trumpets perhaps. This has been a long time coming. In the interests of accuracy,  I searched back through my posts to see exactly when I had started these projects.
 The Trip Around the World was started July 2012 making it the longest in the works. It has been finished for a while and hanging around looking for a border.
The Scrappy Bargello panels I used for  borders were cut back in December of 2014.  And the Scrappy Stars have been in the works but not commented on so can't be exactly sure of their start date. They suffered from a dissatisfaction with the yellow fabric. It is more like a brassy/gold and just did not inspire me to finish them. I see that in one post about UFO's ( 8/10/15) I had a bunch done. Sometime after that, I decided to change yellows and made up a bunch which I used to make the top last week. This left three of the brassy stars. Needing a way to make the Bargello strips meet I decided to use them as cornerstones and quickly whipped up another.
And thus the monster was created. My hubby is thrilled, I am warm and the cat approves.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

UFO report M-2

That is two weeks until the mystery with Bonnie starts and how am I doing in clearing out old unfinished projects before starting a new one? Pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
I finished up the sashing on the Stars and got them all together.
2017-11-08 12.45.09 So now it becomes a finished top waiting for some reason to quilt it, like a new baby.  Although I  would have a hard time parting with this project as the fabrics bring back so many memories.
In the same project box as the stars, were the string geese from waaaay back. I searched Bonnie’s blog to figure out how long ago.  The post where she first mentions them was December 2012.  Not sure that these were started at the same time she was working on them but within a year of it.  The pattern is no longer available as a free pattern on her site as she has tweeked it and it’s now in her new book coming out soon.  So I had to improvise on the sashing size between the rows of geese.
2017-11-06 22.45.41Still working on the side and top border. The sashing fabric was from the Quilted Twins, the detail of the picture isn’t fine enough to see the peach colour from the geese is picked up quite nicely. As soon as I saw this fabric I knew they would play nicely together. It's called Splish Splash and comes in lots of other colourways (

And in between these two projects, I lashed together a third.
This one destined for our bed. It is named the Franken-quilt because three different projects were sewn together to make it big enough to cover us.
2017-11-08 09.47.55 It has a centre Trip Around the World, skinny border, Scrappy Bargello strips for a fat border, and Scrappy Stars for corner stones.  One thing I wish now I had done differently would be to extend the skinny border to frame the stars. It sort of looks like they get lost in the bargello. This is on the basting wall right now with backing and batting waiting for me to go baste them together.  The weather here has taken a downward direction temperature wise and I would like to get this on the bed soon.
So quite busy week, although I’ll be playing catch-up on the housework for a day or two soon.  Soon, I promise, well maybe after I quilt Frankie.
Now to link up with Jo and see what she has done this week.  Jo's Country Junction

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

UFO report

Well, this is it, the final weeks before Bonnie’s Mystery Quilt starts. This means a clearing out of projects currently being worked on and cleanup in the sewing room.  Basically clearing the decks for action.
One project cleared up, the neutral/brown Jacob’s ladder. All blocks done, layout done, rows stacked and numbered ready to sew together.  I had the opportunity to just focus on sewing for two whole days and I did. Wasn’t sure just how many I was going to make, original plan was for 48 with a large border but I pushed to get beyond that and made it to 56 before I ran out of steam.  Here they are up on the basting wall on a flannel sheet as my design wall was too small to hold them all.
neautral jacobs Thinking a simple border but will let that thought percolate for a bit.  After all that neutralness, a shot of colour was needed. Especially as we are having numerous grey overcast days.

  So out came some crumb stars. I have two UFOs using crumb stars, the first was Star Splinter from Quiltmaker March/April '13  and the second, Scrappy Stars from Jo Kramer ( link at right on her page)

scrappystarsstarslinter(the pictures loaded in reverse order, Scrappy is the first and then Splinter) 

Scrappy won out and Splinter is back in the project box for another time.
It was so engrossing, the next thing I knew it was 2 in the morning and all 9 blocks were done. I have more centres but the pattern calls for 9 so now comes the sashing.

And stopping here to link up with Jo's UFO challenge before I go back down to my cleaned up sewing room with my re-hung design wall  to cut some sashes.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

UFO Update

Started to write this yesterday, but went down to the sewing room to take a picture and didn't come back to the computer all day.  Can't say I spent the whole day there, had to come up for pee breaks and cat nagging ( feed me, let me out, that sort of thing), but the majority of the time I was sewing.

And.. it was sewing a UFO. I've searched back through my posts and can't find where I've mentioned starting it. Although I see in a folder of pictures that it was already a UFO in 2015. It is the Jacob's Ladder done in neutrals/browns.
This started with a pack of fabric from a guild meeting back in the winter I was a member of the local guild.

When I pulled it out there were 19 blocks made, lots of cut fabric and even more uncut fabric. That was two days ago, now there are 30 blocks made.

The pattern I am working from calls for 48 blocks, I am not sure if I will get that far. But then again I have a bunch of fabric from the Quilted Twins that is blending in just perfectly and I might keep going. The shot of inspiration I got from Jo's neutral quilt and the infusion of new fabrics is just what this project needed to get it going again. Once again linking up with Jo and the UFO update, albeit a day late.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Mission Accomplished

I’m feeling pretty satisfied with myself these past few days.  Not only did I get my niece's quilt finished well before the wedding but I managed to finish quilting on another by Sunday. 
That one was a UFO of my sister-in-law’s mother who sadly passed rather quickly two years ago.  While she was lying in the hospital, knowing the end was near, she made a point of telling my sister-in-law that the two quilts she had started and not finished were to go to my sister-in-law’s daughters.   During one of our frequent visits to Nova Scotia my SIL asked me if I would finish them for her to give to her daughters.  That’s the back story, fast forward to two weeks ago, my SIL messages me to ask if the one for her daughter that has just gotten married could be ready for her to take back with them when they come for wedding.   Of course, I said.
2017-10-01 14.53.05
I had gotten the quilt as far as a top, adding the borders was all that was required.  So sandwich and quilt, easy peasy , right?
If I had just done staight lines it would have been easy peasy. But I wanted to step things up a bit and in all my searching of log cabin quilting what stood out the most was the feathering.  So I determined to do feathers in the light half the rounds and stippling in the other half. Which extended the time quite a bit.
Didn't manage to get a pic of the feathers but here is one of the stipple

But I managed to deliver it to her on Sunday, before they left.  Even if it still had chalk marks on it and some thread to still clip.
At the same time I was rushing this through the machine, I was also teaching my daughter to quilt. She came for 12 days, managing to fit in both our Thanksgiving celebration and her cousin’s wedding. Within a day of her arriving, she started asking about how to put together a quilt she wanted to make. Well actually a weighted blanket, but I figured out a way to make it a quilt-as-you-go quilt.

  Breaking it down into block size pieces made it easier for her to sew and to fill with the beads needed for the weight.
We got to spend some great time together over a sewing machine or two.
2017-10-08 14.51.532017-10-12 22.33.18so now to link up with everyone over at Jo’s Country Junction
And see what you all are up to this week.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Almost finished

I have been delaying writing a post hoping to have my niece's wedding quilt to show off.  And it is almost done. Just one last side to sew down the binding on, a quick trip to the washer and it will be out on the clothes line. But, it was a beautiful day out today, so I popped it up on the line with the last bit still in the binding clips.
2017-10-05 12.21.20
Isn’t that spectacular ? Jo and Kelli really knocked it out of the park with this pattern. ( Bohemian Rhapsody from Country Girl Modern ). I am already planning on doing another one. Just need to find the right fabrics.   And the back is almost as good.
2017-10-05 12.20.57
The Polish fabric from the Quilted Twins is gorgeous.   I’m fairly pleased with the results. I have to make it “fairly” because of some errors but I have promised myself not to repeat them to anyone else.   I told you about one of them, the triangle corner that wasn’t there.  I did some un-sewing and put it in. Then on the next row of quilting I found a square turned the wrong way, and un-sewed and fixed that also.
While all this was going on I had a request for a baby quilt. With only two weeks notice. Yikes.  So out came some baby panels from my stash. Additional request, no pink.  Amazingly I managed to find two that met the requirements, quilted one up and offered it to her with the proviso that if this didn’t satisfy, there was another in the works. Of course she wanted the one not finished, so pedal to the floor and several hours later …. okay maybe two days later.  Here they are.
2017-09-23 12.52.272017-09-23 12.53.30
  She picked the Noah’s Ark, as it was a little bigger than the Alphabet.
2017-09-23 12.54.23
Not sure whether to call these finished UFO’s as they hadn’t even been started. They were just potential projects and now one is a finished quilt all ready for another baby.
Now to link up with Jo’s  UFO Progress