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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Two weeks into 2020 and lots of pictures for you.

I seemed to get off to a slow start, but what is new?  I did tidy and organize my sewing room and went through projects, updating my ufo list.
This is our ninth year in this house and I brought fabric and projects with me from our previous home.  I think I am doing ok but some of these projects are meant to be either finished or banished forever.
I am in the process of stitching these blocks together... they have been on my design wall for a month!
My first project of 2020 was to pull out these zip pouches that have been residing in a plastic bag for over 2 years.  I also had some that I made in the fall while we were still at home... the kits were on sale for a great price at Connecting Threads.  Unfortunately, the kits didn't include the zippers and I had to wait until I could shop for them before I could make these.

The original instructions called for making 4 pouches and I ended up with 14 of them!  That meant scrounging for linings and extra fabric for the backs but I did it. And all of them have a label attached.  These will be gifts for friends, doorprizes for guild and if someone really wants one, let me know!
My heartstrings group that I belong to online chooses a precut of the month to work with... this month 'bundles' were chosen.  I went through what I had on here, not much in the way of bundles but did find a small one.
Six fat quarters aren't really enough for a decent size quilt but it was a good starting point.  I went through my container(s) of fat quarters and pulled out more to end up with enough to make an adult size donation quilt.
I think I know which pattern I want to use but might change my mind.  I still have 15 days to get a top made.  Lots of time!
The rainbow scrap challenge online chose green as the colour for January.  First, I dug out my plastic bag of green fabric bits.  I had seen a pattern for making fabric buckets from 2 fat quarters so that was my first project.
Then I filled it, and it was way too full!  So, I decided to get busy with making blocks with my scraps.  First, I made some string blocks.  I am not sure why I made 9... not a very good number and 8 will probably be a better number.
With the wild fires in Australia, I responded to the call of the modern guild there to make tree blocks.  There are loads of free patterns available and I started off with one idea, added in a second and then a third.  The blocks still need some raw edge stitching on the applique but that will get done this week and I can get them in the mail.
I have two more of the block on the right.  They are asking for oversize blocks so that they can trim them down to an accurate 12.5" size.  Their goal is to make a quilt for every family that lost their home to the fires. Five blocks isn't very many but I have a feeling that there are a lot of quilters around the world making blocks.

After I made my green bucket, I decided to make one for my neutrals and then my browns, since I had dug around in my plastic bags.
I found a few more blocks that I wanted to make for the RCS.... since I have so darn many green scraps. This one uses a lighter and darker 2.5" strip.
Then I saw a picture on Pinterest (spend way too much time on there).   Sort of a kind of shadow box.
And, yet, another one I tried. These quilts have been all over various groups I belong to and I actually have the book with the original pattern but the two pictures I copied use different techniques.  I like this one and so will stick with it.  Great use of 5" squares.

And now, my green bucket is far too full but am out of blocks to make. Where did all these bits come from? 

I finally found Michael's this week... they moved from the location that they were in since we moved here.  And, even better, I got one of my favourite storage carts and it was on sale for $29... in Canada, I paid $69 so this was a great price.
And, I ordered this cupholder with trash bag that is really for taking to retreats but it holds my wool pincushion perfectly!
So, busy two weeks but not much to show other than my zip pouches.  But, two weeks to get my bundle top made and mail off my blocks to Australia.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Welcome to a New Year and hopefully a healthy, happy and productive one! 
We ended 2019 on a bit of negative but also positive note.  All in your attitude, I think!  My husband had Moh's surgery on his ear to get rid of any remaining cancer cells.  Not a great way to spend a day but then again, always good when you get rid of something horrible in your life.
Because of the surgery, we were home in BC for 10 days and I decided to decorate our house (which I had never done in the 9 years that we have lived there).  I started going through some of my containers of decorations and it was overwhelming.  UGH. 

But, I kept it simple.
We had a small tree and put up some outside lights. 

And, I had some time to finish up my table runner that I was struggling with the free motion quilting.  It is done!

Plus, two more of my 52 blocks in 52 weeks are complete, 2 weeks left.  I think I will make a few more so that my quilt top is the size that is useable.
The weather was perfect for the first few days we were home.  Plus, my Christmas cactus was blooming beautifully.

I managed to get my Sunrise quilt hung up on the wall. 

Now, we are back in the Valley of the Sun and time to clean up this house, ready for the new Year.

  I have everything done in all the rooms other than my poor sewing room.  It is a real dumping ground.

I do have blocks on the wall to stitch together but my sewing machine went for some TLC in December and she will be back tomorrow, where she belongs!  Am determined to get this room organized later today in anticipation of sewing tomorrow.
So, this is the first day of 2020 and I am going to keep pushing until that room is clean!  Have a great year. 
One thing I did do while home was to go through some containers and try make a complete list of projects patiently waiting and now I need to do that here.  Am determined to keep stitching up some of these fabrics and projects in items that are useable or decorative!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Busy with Christmas, tennis and our social life

The days are flying by this month.  My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary... a lot of years, 36 since we got married, but 42 since we have been been together.  Wow.  I am also thinking of mom today as it was one year ago that she died and sort of a bitter sweet day for me.
In memory of mom and for my husband, I baked my annual sausage rolls. Mom made these every Christmas and I have carried on the tradition after I moved out of our family home.
My sewing machine has been busy.  I have my borders on my Christmas tree wall hanging, although it is still not quilted and bound. This may become a UFO as I don't think it will get done this month.
And beside it is my newest project "Framed", a kit from Connecting Threads.  There are more blocks in a green colourway that are made.
But, I need a larger ruler to square them up.  I know, I could use the lines on my cutting mat but that is a painful way to trim large blocks and I have ordered a 20" ruler from Joann's at a great price.  This project is on hold until the ruler arrives.
I quilted a sweet quilt that was made by a good friend and she has it back for binding and then it will get donated to our sewing group here in the Village.
My blocks for my mystery quilt are done except I messed up with four of the flying geese and don't have extra fabric here so I will correct my boo-boo when I am back home.  All of the steps are done, the next clue will be how to assemble the blocks into the completed quilt top.
I made some some of the small buckets for a few gifts, both Christmas and some thank you's.
I also made some mug rugs or small table toppers.

And, in my other "spare" time, when I was not playing tennis, I trimmed 80+ blocks for the Sunland Stitchers raffle quilt and got them assembled into a top.  It is huge, 72 - 12" blocks put together for a king size quilt.  The great news is that I am not quilting it or binding it!!  Other volunteers are helping out with that and in January it will be used a fund raiser for our fibre arts building that we are trying valiantly to get built for us and the other groups that need a place to call their own.
I managed to get caught up on my CQA 52 blocks in 52 weeks and am only behind on today's block plus there will be 3 or 4 more to finish up the year. 
My goal this fall was to reduce all of the Christmas projects and fabric that I have on hand here in my 'other' home.  I have done well but not so sure that the fabric has been reduced!  But, I have completed a few quilt tops, runners, etc and so I should feel good about my efforts.  However, I did discover that I have a huge bag of strips and then found a hodge podge assortment of 10" squares.  I really think that they are from a swap with Quilter's funtalk... a yahoo group that I have belonged to since I first got a home computer, many years ago (more than 10+). I cut these squares into this wedge shape with a Missouri star ruler and this should be a simple quilt that will go together quickly although, also destined to be a UFO for 2020.

Am still knitting on a toque and working on a couple of felt ornaments and they are evening tv projects.
Tennis is happening regularly and today was our usual Tuesday morning, 7am practice and it was cold and windy.  Not complaining here because it is dry and it is sunny, but it is cold and our furnace is being turned on every evening.  Gives me a good chance to change out my wardrobe for long sleeve shirts and sweaters and also long pants and warm jackets, ear muffs and mittens!
Hoping I will be back here before Christmas but, just in case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my readers and friends.