Monday, January 30, 2012

Open Sewing and Kitchen Curtains

Well, I finally got my kitchen curtains done. Whew---  Am I glad. At JoAnn Fabrics, I bought all of the fabric that was on the bolt for the curtains but after cutting out, there wasn't enough fabric to make the curtains as full as I had hoped. I do not like skimpy curtains, so I started checking out other JoAnn Fabrics hoping to find more fabric. They couldn't order more. When I was about to give up finding any more fabric, I did find more at a JoAnn's in St. Paul, MN. They are now done and I am happy with them. The fabric has many of the colors that I have in Fiesta dish colors.

This is the dining area window. We do not want too much covering over the windows because we like to look over the country side.
My son made this cornice for above the door and I was able to add fabric and padding to it. Still need to get something to cover the doors when there is too much sunlight coming in.
This is the curtain above the kitchen sink. 

Today, two of my friends came to spend the day sewing. Mary came the earliest. Her husband brought her and he visited with my hubby for a little while. Nice when the husbands can visit.

Mary is working on a cute Valentine quilt for herself. She has always wanted one. Since she was concerned about not having enough fabric, she practiced using the Easy Angle ruler in place of cutting squares and then cutting on the diagonal to get her triangles.
I was sewing cancer bags at the serger. A lot faster finishing the edges using the serger instead of the regular sewing machine.

This is Maureen. We used to work together at a quilt shop. Now we like to get together to tease and cause mischief!!  LOL (She does not like to have her picture taken).
 Maureen is sewing crumb or scrap blocks in a very random manner. They are really fun and an easy way to use up scraps. Although her scrap basket did not shrink in amount of scraps (they have babies while you are using them). Some of the blocks have little orphan blocks in them. See the sample block below.

All in all, it was a fun day. We try to get together once a month. Since I am hoping adult son will soon be moving out, then I will be able to have quilt camp and some friends will be able to stay over night and we can sew, eat, laugh, sew and eat.  What more can we ask for??

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:        16 yards
Used year to Date:   16 yards
Added this Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:  22.125 yards
Net Used for 2012:    - 6.125 yards

This week I finished the top to my daughter's quilt. Since a good portion of the center was a model done for the quilt shop where I used to work and I did not have to purchase the fabric, I am only putting down 4 yards used. That is the amount of fabric used to make the quilt larger.  When I quilt and bind it, I will be able to deduct more fabric.

Twelve yards was used for the front and lining of new kitchen curtains. There is more fabric that I will be using for placemats but have not counted that yet.

At least I am finally starting to get some WIP's done, as well as, a little fabric used.  Boy do I have a long ways to go. Hmmmmm -- I wonder how old I have to be before it will look like any sort of dent has been made in the stash???  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

UFO Challenge & Snow

Well, we are finally having some snow, but did it need to be just when I was looking forward to friends coming to my home for open sewing on Monday?  Since the freezing rain came before the snow on Sunday night into Monday morning, it was just too treacherous for the ladies to come. We plan to get together next Monday. Hopefully the weather won't interfere again.

It is pretty out!! I love the fresh snow. Since we live in the country with no close neighbors, it stays so pristine looking.
Tuesday morning I bowled. Talk about not being able to hit the broad side of the barn!! It was not a pretty sight!!  LOL  We go for lunch after bowling.  Good thing I go for the socializing and the lunch because the bowling - STUNK!!!

Last night I finished the quilt top for the UFO Challenge. This quilt is for my youngest daughter, Brenda. I hope to get it on the quilting frame this week. It will just barely fit. My table only has 10 foot poles.  Here is my husband (he is standing on a chair) trying to hold the quilt up ---     Poor guy, I hid him behind the quilt.  He sure was patient about it.
Here is another picture with only 1/4 of the quilt showing. It is just too big to spread out. I think the last four borders look like it was planned from the beginning and not just slapped on to make the quilt bigger (although that is what was done -- ).
Participating in the UFO Challenge looks like it will be a good thing for me. It is so easy to procrastinate and not finish up projects.  Brenda will be happy to get this quilt. It will have a cozy flannel backing. There are fabrics left over for some accessories such as pillow shams.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:        0 yards
Used year to Date:   0 yards
Added this Week:    1.125 yards
Added Year to Date:  22.125 yards
Net Used for 2012:   -22.125 yards

 On Friday, while at open sewing at Rae-Bon in Fargo, I spotted several pieces on sale at 50% off. Who can resist half-price fabric. Could have bought more, but I resisted!!!  LOL


Home Again in Hillman

It was fun to stay in Fargo and have a private retreat for a week, but it is sure nice to be home. I came home a day early because the driving conditions didn't sound very nice for Sunday.  Hubby was pleasantly surprised and happy when I arrived home a day early. My daughter and her husband arrived home from their trip on Saturday evening, so Chipper only had to be on his own for a few hours between when I left and they arrived home. Needless to say, he went absolutely wild when they walked in. Here is Chipper resting up for their arrival!!! 

On Friday, I went to "Fun & Finish" at Rae-Bon in Fargo. Arrived at 10:00 am and went home at 9:30 pm.  I did go home at 5:00 pm to feed, water, and let Chipper out. Met many nice ladies while I was there and, of course, there was a lot of good food to eat since everyone brought a dish to share. Since I was working on parts 3 & 5 of Orca Bay (which is a lot of repetitive sewing), it was great to have ladies to talk to and see what they were working on.  If I am at home, I listen to audio books when I have a lot repetitive sewing or piecing to do.

The shop is very nice. They carry a nice selection of fabrics, sewing machines, and machine embroidery supplies.  Two of the employees (Claudia on the left, and Kathy on the right) let me take their picture. I am still a little bashful about asking people to be in pictures for my blog, so that is all I have.

Claudia & Kathy

On Monday, friends are coming for open sewing. When I arrived home, most all the quilting supplies I had with me were just dumped into the quilt studio. Now I need to clean it up a little before anyone comes.

Since I have put pictures of my daughter Natalie's sewing/craft room on the blog, I will need to get my studio cleaned up and put some pictures on for you all to see.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Fargo Stay

I am still in Fargo and Chipper (the sad dog) has cheered up and is back to his normal mischievous self. He likes to head over to the neighbors to see what they have put out for the birds. Right now he is resting after his hard day at the office!!  Yawn!
 The weather in Fargo is very cold right now and I am only too glad to stay inside and sew (and be on the computer).

In preparation for my stay, my daughter Natalie very nicely cleaned up her sewing craft room for me to use (now there is a picture record of what it looks like cleaned up --). Last year I did sew there, but this year I am doing a lot of cutting and her cutting surface is just too high for me. She is almost 6 inches taller than I am. The kitchen is working great because the counters are the right height for a cutting surface and the floor is laminate which is easier to clean up all the threads.

Here are some pictures of her sewing/craft room (her husband has a different name!!!  HeeHee). She has fixed it up cute and it is very functional for her. She likes to do mixed media, but she does do some quilting.

This is the view as you come down the hallway.
She found the desk for her sewing machine and the comfortable wing chair at rummage sales. The spice cabinet up on the wall, is a cabinet my mother made years ago.  The shelving units were originally taller units which Natalie cut down to her height for cutting/working surfaces and she put counter tops on the units.  While the guys are watching the football games, she can curl up in her chair and watch her own TV. It is a very nice cozy space to work in.

The rest of the pictures are working around the room clockwise. 

This shelf was from a place that does a lot of funky junk type of furnishing. It was originally meant to stand upright, but it works better to hang it side ways. That way it fit a lot of her stamps and supplies better. 
I am still working on my Orca Bay mystery quilt. Have completed all the cutting for parts 3 & 5. Skipped over part 4 for right now.  I wanted to have all the pieces cut and ready to go because I am going to a "Fun & Finsh" sewing at Rae-Bon quilt shop in Fargo on Friday. Did a sample of part 3 & 5. They have to fit together. 
Part 3 (only 350 of these units)

Part 5 (Adding wings to Part 3) - need 350 of the finished units.  They are all cut and ready to sew on tomorrow at the sew-in. 
This has been a productive week so far. Haven't had to worry about cleaning up after myself or cooking (weight loss TV dinners work just great).

Lunch on Wednesday with my daughter's sister-in-law was very enjoyable. We went to the Old Broadway in downtown Fargo. The food is great.

Received some text messages from my daughter and it sounds like the weather on the cruise has not been very enjoyable but they are having a good time with people they have met.

Well, back to sewing ----

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fargo Stay

I arrived in West Fargo, ND, on Friday evening and had a good visit with my daughter. We all went to bed early because they had to get up at 3:00 am and leave for the airport in Fargo by 4:00 am. They will be gone until next Saturday evening. Chipper, their dog that I am watching, started pouting as soon as the suitcases came into view on Friday evening and he has been one "sad dog" ever since. He does such a good job of being the sad doggy!!

Saturday was a lost day for sewing. Chipper cried after my daughter Natalie and her husband, Norm, left. That meant no sleep for me. I am such a sucker for the "sad Chipper". He really is adorable. On Sunday, I was finally able to get down to work. I have been sewing on part two of the Orca Bay Mystery quilt.  Good thing Norm can't see what his kitchen looks like right now. He "loves" to give his mother-in-law a tough time (all in good humor). Actually, I think I kept it pretty neat.

It is Monday morning and I am finishing the last of the string blocks. I have only six more of the blue string pieced blocks left to do. There are 72 of these for part two.

This afternoon I am going to see the movie "The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo."  I have read all three of the books in the series and seen the Swedish version of the movie. It will be nice to see this movie and compare.

It is so nice to be only a few minutes from all the amenities instead of a minimum of 20 miles to anything. I intend to take advantage of everything being so close by.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Stash Report

Used this Week:        0 yards
Used year to Date:   0 yards
Added this Week:     1 yards
Added Year to Date:  21 yards
Net Used for 2012:   -21 yards

Friday, on my way up to Fargo ND, I stopped at one of my favorite quilt shops in Perham, MN.  I did very well!!  I only bought two -- 1/2 yard cuts of sale fabric.  There were some really nice fabrics in the sale area, but I couldn't even think of a project that needed a backing at this time.  On my way past Detroit Lakes, MN, I notice a "store closing" sign on the quilt shop there.  It is sad to see some of the shops go out of business, but I understand why.  People are not in the fabric buying frenzy of a few years ago. Now a lot of us only purchase what we need to finish a project because we have so much on hand.

Once I finish some of the quilts I am currently working on, such as, Orca Bay Mystery and the quilt for my daughter, Brenda, a lot of fabric used will go on the report. Getting impatient to finish both of these projects. Trying not to start anything else until I do. Sometime I think I have short-term attention span when it comes to completing projects. I always want to be unto the next.  Guess that is why I am also doing the UFO challenge.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Stash Reporting

Used this Week:                                        0 yards
Used year to Date:                                   0 yards
Added this Week:                                   20 yards
Added Year to Date:                              20 yards
Net Used for 2012:                               -20 yards

Starting my stash report a little late but better then never. Fabrics that I added are mostly flannel for the back of two quilts. I love to use flannel on the back of some of the quilts I make because it makes them feel cuddly and they stick to the bed better.  Besides, we usually have colder weather then this year. The fabrics were actually ordered before the end of the year but didn't receive them until after the 1st of the year. The rest was stash fabric that was "on sale".  I need to slap my fingers again and say "No Beth" you do not need it.  I did add a couple of pieces for my Black & White  collection for Orca Bay.  Will do better.  I have been on a fabric diet for the last year but did not keep track of how much came in and how much went out.  Well, it is a new year!!!

Use up your stash! See other reports via Patchwork Times.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Orca Bay Update

Of course I just can't leave Orca Bay alone. It is just too great a quilt and I WANT to work on it. (Does that sound like a spoiled child??) Guess what!! When it comes to this quilt that is the way I intend to be!!!

Part 1 is complete:

Part 2 has been started.  I used the doctor directory from our health insurance for foundation papers. They worked great.  Another item that is being recycled.
 Part 3 has been started:

Hopefully, I can start part 4 this weekend. I plan to sign up for a "Sit & Sew" for Sunday. It is always fun to work on projects, and have people to talk to, and eat, and have people to talk to and eat -- Can you guess what all I like to do?  Talk & eat, and, of course, sew!!


UFO Challenge Project

Blogging is already helping my severe case of procrastination. Once a  commitment has been made, I work very hard to fulfill the commitment. So I am still working on the January pick for the 2012 UFO Challenge (number five on my UFO list).  The quilt has become quite a challenge all on it's own. De-constructing and then reassembly has turned out to be more work then I had considered it to be.  Two rows of blocks have been added to the center to help make the quilt bigger. A series of four more borders will be added to get this quilt to fit a king size bed. I started out with a top that measured 66 inches by 77 inches. It is now up to 77 inches by 88 inches. That will cover the top of the mattress. Once all the borders are added it should be 103 inches by 114 inches. Since it was possible to purchase extra fabric, I hope to make some shams to match the quilt. 

My private retreat in Fargo is starting this weekend, so I hope to have the top done on my UFO before I leave on Friday. Looking forward to working on Orca Bay next week. Now I do have several outings planned while I am there. There are a couple of "Sit & Sew" at two of the local shops and those are always fun and a chance to meet new people.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brown Winter

I am starting to have a serious case of "no snow" withdrawal.  I am a true Minnesota girl and I love it after a fresh snow.  The trees always look so beautiful with the snow hanging from their branches, the snow sparkles in the sunshine, and everything looks so pristine clean. The above picture shows the extent of our snow for January 7th. We had a light dusting during the night. Yesterday the ground was completely brown. New Mexico has had more snow then we have had. It is also so much fun to hole up for the day and sew.  BooHoo!! One thing about Minnesota, it seems like our weather goes from one extreme to another.  Waiting for snow!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A "DUH" Moment

Do you ever have some of those "DUH" moments? I know I just had one in the last couple of days. When I signed up for the UFO challenge, of course, I did not read everything as carefully as possible. Instead, I only skimmed the information. When listing my UFO's I did not take into consideration that each month a number would be drawn and that would be the UFO for the month. So the Orca Bay mystery by Bonnie Hunter was listed first because that is the one I want to work on while I am house sitting for my oldest daughter, Natalie, and her husband.

The number drawn for January is five. That is the quilt for my youngest daughter, Brenda. Hadn't planned on doing that one yet. The quilt was originally a shop model that I sewed several years ago. The colors are perfect for her bedroom but the issue is that the quilt is not big enough for her king-size bed. It will only fit a full-size bed. There was none of the main fabric left (brown/teal print) but I remembered that a friend of mine had ordered a kit of this quilt and had purchased extra to make it bigger. Well, long story short, I called her and asked if she had ever sewn the kit up. She answered "no" and didn't think she was going to but she was willing to sell me the fabric. Yaaaaa - now I can make the quilt bigger. Brenda will be glad because that means she may eventually get the quilt.

Moral of the story - Read the directions!!!! 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

UFO Challenge 2012

Today I have been thinking about which items should be on my UFO list. There are so many that I was not sure where to start, so here is what I decided on:

1.  Orca Bay Mystery (Bonnie K. Hunter)
2.  Black, White & Bright
3.  Scrappy Bargello (Bonnie K. Hunter)
4.  Reflections quilt - queen size
5.  Brenda's quilt (for youngest daughter)
6.  Byron's quilt (son)
7.  Quilt utilizing fabric from guild members
8.  Blue and yellow log cabin
9.  Blue quilt for Quilts of Valor
10. Green quilt for Quilts of Valor
11. Blue Ridge Beauty (Bonnie K. Hunter)
12. Black X string quilt

The above should give me a good start on the stack of UFO's. Can you guess that I love Bonnie's quilts???  While I loved teaching beginning quilting classes, and the students were great, I am excited to make quilts that are a little more intense. In fact many of her patterns remind me of some of the early quilts I used to make back in the "stone age".  Also during those years, I would go to the local garment factory and purchase a huge trash size bag of scraps for 50 cents to make quilts. The long strips I gave to a local lady to weave rugs with. Many of the quilts made for fund raisers at our church were made from scraps from the garment factory. We bought very little yardage except for backgrounds (mainly white solid) and backings (mostly muslin). The factory sewed mainly sleepwear, so a lot of flannel and cotton blend fabrics were used in the quilts.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Off to a good start!!

Wow, I can't believe what a good start I have to my 2012 resolutions.  One was to start a blog - did that!!  ;>)   Second - quilt my friend Maureen's quilt. I had been putting it off due to a lack of confidence when working on someone else's quilt. I loaded it this morning and finished it this evening. Had to take a few breaks!! I think it turned out very nice.

Guess I had better start working on the list of UFO's for 2012. Two things off already.


New Year & New Beginnings

This years goal is to practice new beginnings and begin to take small steps to break the procrastination cycle I have been in. I have been putting off machine quilting my friend's quilt and this is on my list of "To Do" for today. Because I am rather inexperienced at machine quilting, I am always concerned that it will not turn out as nice as I would like it to be. Should get over this. My friend brought me the quilt so I would have something more to practice on. My own quilts are no problem.

Second item on my UFO list is "Orca Bay" mystery by Bonnie K. Hunter. This is the first mystery of hers that I have done and it is absolutely awesome. Since I am going to stay at my daughter's house in Fargo for nine days in the middle of January, I am saving this project for during that stay (have started it -- to hard to resist working on it some). I will be house sitting and dog sitting while my daughter and her husband are on a cruise. What an awesome private retreat this will be. Last January I did the same thing and I got so much done. No cooking!!!

Third item on my UFO list is a "Black, White, and Bright" quilt that I started two years ago. This was going to be a published pattern, but I didn't get it done. It should be a fun quilt. I do have several published patterns and they were fun to do, but wasn't sure this was something I wanted to spend my time doing.

Fourth item isn't started but is still going on my list. As an outgoing President of my guild, I received fabric from the members and I would like to get a quilt done utilizing the fabric. There is a pattern of Bonnie K Hunter's that I do have in mind.

Stash reporting and "fabric diet" are serious goals for this year and I plan to keep a record of "stash in & stash out".  The only fabric that I plan to buy for 2012, will be what is needed to finish a project and it is not in my stash.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New to blogging!

I've come to the realization that I need to start blogging. Procrastination has become a fine art with me and it is time to break the habit. By writing about my plans and committments, I hope to accomplish the completion of my many quilting UFO's and do some serious stash reduction. 

Since I have retired from working in a quilt shop and teaching quilting classes, it is now time to make the quilts that I want to make (sounds selfish, doesn't it?) and reduce the stash that I acquired over many years.  You know how that goes ---  you see it, you just have to buy it. Our house is well insulated and sound-proofed with stacks of fabric.

For 2012, I am making a resolution to start a stash report. The intent is to reduce the over-whelming amount of fabric in this house.

Also, I plan to create a UFO list for 2012. Hopefully I can reduce the pile of UFO's.

I think this is a good start, so Happy New Year ----