Monday, February 8, 2016

Can you tell I love COLOR??

I'm attempting Aunt Marti's 2016 UFO Challenge, finishing one UFO per month.  For me, finishing is getting it to the "flimsy/ready to be quilted" stage.  I managed a finish in January, but I'm really sweating about February.  She picked #9 as the one we finish, and for me, that is my color quilt that I started (and then stalled out on) back in 2010.

I figure I have at least 4 more colors to add - orange, purple, black and brown (and possibly gray) - and then all the setting and whatnot.  This quilt started because my 1.5" precut bin was overflowing.  I have since moved to a larger bin and it is, yet again, overflowing.  Might as well chip away at it.

Yesterday, I added ORANGE to the pile of completed colors.  Wish me luck getting these other colors done in time.  You may notice that I already did the short colors (red, blue, pink).  Sigh.

I will admit to being a tad bit distracted from sewing by my latest knitting project, a simple project called the Lollipop Shawl by Frankie Brown.  I got a new sport weight sock yarn in the shop whose color way reminded me of the sample in the pattern, and I couldn't wait to cast on and give it a try.  It is simple, garter stitch with a stockinette ruffle at the bottom edge.

I'm linking up with Beth's Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt and Cynthia's Oh Scrap!

Happy Monday!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Another day in paradise (aka the sewing room)

What a difference having an organized sewing room makes!  I've been down there more this past month than the past year combined!!  Today, I worked on my February Block Lotto blocks, Snails Trails,
These 6" blocks had to use brown and a light or low volume print.  I hope to make 5 more before month's end. 
as well as a house block for the 2016 Neighborhood Block Party.
This is a 12.5" block, based on a photo of a house block I saw online.
And then, of course, I've been cutting and cutting and cutting my scraps.  I swear, it doesn't seem like the scrap pile is getting any smaller, even though my precut bins are filling up.  I've got 7 weeks to get my scraps under control and then whatever is left untamed must go!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Aaahh, what a glorious day off!  I started the day by sleeping in, and then laying about while I finished reading my book.  This one was Forget Me Knot by Mary Marks, the first in a cozy quilt mystery series.

This one was a good one!  I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the quilting, everything about it!  If you like cozies, I recommend this one.  I'll be on the lookout for the next 3 books in this series.

I also spent some time attacking my scraps, cutting some up into squares and using some to make 4 more Strippy Flippy Scrappy Happy blocks - I now have 9 and the design is starting to emerge.  Love it!

Finally, I checked email and learned that I won 50 Birds In The Air blocks from this month's Block Lotto!!  Woo hoo!  I know this means I'll have another UFO to add to the pile instead of blocks going out, but I love these blocks and am happy that they will be staying with me and getting 41 new friends to play with.

I hope you all had a wonderful day as well!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Westering Women BOM, Block 1 Done!

I'm an easy mark.  I was reading Lane's blog today, and he mentioned Barbara Brackman's 2016 Block of the Month.  Curious, I clicked over to see what it was.  And just like that, I'm hooked!!

It's called Westering Women, and what I love about it is that she includes anecdotes and illustrations about the westward journey on the overland trails in the 19th century.  Throw in some reproduction fabrics and I'm LOVING it!

The first block is Independence Square.  I have one directional print in there, so I had to unpick one seam where I wasn't paying attention, but otherwise, it went together quickly and easily.

I look forward to next month's block.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Strippy Scrappy Flippy Happy

Remember the string quilt block I made this weekend, inspired by this blog post/tutorial?  While chipping away at my prolific scraps today, I made four more!
She calls her quilt blocks "Strippy, Scrappy, Flippy, Happy"

My blocks measure 10.5" with a 6" wide center strip and 2" orange "ribs", whereas her blocks are 8.5" with 3" wide center strips and skinnier black "ribs", so the look is a little different but no matter.  I love it!  I have a feeling the finished quilt will be a bit RIOTOUS!  All that color!  All those lines going this way and that!

I remain on task with my sewing and organizational goals for the year.

  • I've already started February's Block Lotto blocks, but can't reveal them until February 1 because I got a Sneak Peek at February's pattern.  Again, they are a great way to use up my scraps - I'm not going to the stash drawers for these fabrics but straight to the scrap bins.  
  • I've been studiously cutting scraps into precut squares, averaging WAY MORE than my 15 minutes per day minimum of scrap cutting while listening to books on tape - it sure makes the time fly while doing a not-so-exciting task.  I finished the 4th Chief Inspector Gamache mystery, A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny, yesterday, and am now in the midst of Defending Jacob by William Landay.  
  • I even remembered to get some new destash fabrics into my ETSY shop, from which I've been getting 1-3 sales per week for a couple months now.  I may just get myself organized and downsized this year, after all!

Back to work tomorrow, which means more knitting than sewing for a few days.  I'm so glad I had this long weekend to really dive back into my sewing room.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Day Sewing

This snowstorm has been such a godsend!  I really needed some time to unwind and sleep in, plus catch up on some chores, work and, of course, SEWING!  One of my goals this year was to bust some UFOs. I'm happy to report that one is DONE!  Remember my scrappy Log Cabin blocks that I couldn't figure out how to set?  I finally just picked a layout and stitched them together, and I love it!
I'm happy to move this from the UFO pile to the Flimsy Waiting to be Quilted pile. 45" x 63"
I'm pretty sure this will be the quilt I give to my new niece, Cecilia.  I drove to New Hampshire with the boys to meet her last weekend, part of the reason I was so exhausted last week (12 hours one way is a long way to drive with no other drivers), but meeting her was worth it.
Meet Cecelia, my newest niece
I held her as much as I could get away with - unfortunately, I had to share with others.
It also mobilized me to finish a quilt for her.  I already have a backing picked out.  My goal tomorrow is to sandwich and start the hand quilting.

While sewing, I also cut hundreds, literally HUNDREDS, of scraps into squares for use in future projects in an attempt to tame my mountains of scraps.  But some of the scraps didn't get cut up.  Instead, I experimented with a string quilt block I found online earlier today.

I know it is bold of me to use orange as the strips around the center of the block, but I had some orange strips already cut, so I thought "What the heck?"  After all, the point is to use up scraps I already have, not make new ones.  I love the finished quilts at the end of the string quilt block post - I'm hoping I'll love my version, too!

I'm glad I made that list of goals at the beginning of the month - it is helping me to focus my efforts when I go down into the sewing room.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Staying the course

I know it is early in the year to be crowing about goals met, but I'm staying on track so far to get my quilting life organized and under control.  I made my 9 Block Lotto blocks for this month,
6" Birds in the Air
and every time I had to press a piece for the blocks, I also pressed a scrap (or two or five) and took them to the cutting mat to cut them to size.  LOTS of scrap management happened this weekend!  I posted 3 more fabrics to my Etsy shop.  And I'm completely moved back into my sewing room, although I do have one corner of STUFF that is still not organized and put away.  I'm tackling it a little bit at a time, and doing a pretty good job of getting rid of things I'll likely never use.  Yay me!