Monday, December 11, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Week #3

I didn't get all that much sewing done this weekend so I have only a small start on clue #3. The mirror image thing always slows me down a bit - especially since I usually have batiks involved and then can't keep track of which side to sew on. I only managed to finish 32 of each, so there will be lots of catching up to do on this step.

I decided to cut the neutral triangles from the mis-cut rectangles from last week. I can get two triangle from each with only about 1/2" of waste so it seemed like the best option for using those. I have used up a lot of my neutrals between cutting extra week #1 and screwing up week #2 so I want to do what I can to not run out before I'm finished.  Of course I am sure I could find more to throw in....

We had Wool Club this Saturday.  I had not been able to go in a long time - March, I think - so it was great to see everyone!  I was able to pick up some more yarn to finish binding my Old Settlement rug. It's the largest rug I have ever finished (not the largest I have started, of course!) at 6 ft long.  

I didn't manage to get completely caught up on the Triangle Gatherings blocks Lisa posted on Saturday, but I finished block 86 and started #87.  I think this one is one of my favorites so far.

Lisa's last post indicated there will be 98 blocks instead of the 90 we all thought.... I still love this project but have to admit I was a little bummed to learn that I am not finished prepping the HSTs with triangle paper.  I thought I was finished with that stuff for a while! 

I'm betting a lot of folks are a lot farther along on their clues than I am.... I'll be checking out Bonnie's link-up throughout the day to see how others are progressing. There are some really fun color combinations out there!

Monday, December 4, 2017

On Ringo Lake Week 2

I couldn't wait to get into the sewing room to get started on clue #2 this weekend! As soon as Saturday morning errands were completed I headed right up and started cutting. I wanted to give the new folded corner ruler a try so I went with sqaures and rectangles rather than cutting triangles. So I pressed, cut, sub-cut and neatly stacked all of my pieces next to my machine and started cutting and sewing. Notice anything wrong with this picture?

I had about six geese sewn before I realized that my SQUARES were supposed to be neutral and my rectangles tan. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I guess on the bright side I discovered the error early! 

So back to the cutting table to recut everything.  I wasn't able to finish the entire clue but made a solid start. I hope to pop into the sewing room for a few minutes here and there throughout the week to try and finish them off.  Now I have to hope for another clue that requires my mis-cut pieces!  I may need to add more fabric - I am not sure if I will be able to recover from everything I have "wasted" with over-cutting and mis-cutting the first two weeks.

Yet another lousy photo - my old iPhone 5 pictures just can't be enlarged at all in posts. I do plan to get a new phone one of these days.....

Regarding the new ruler - it's not my favorite.  I didn't really care for having to trim as I was sewing.  It really felt like it took more time, I still had to trim a little for some of them, and my trash is overflowing with all of the tiny triangles I cut off (no way I was sewing all of those little things as "bonus triangles"!). I think my preference is still the Essential Triangle tool - all the cutting is done up front with no waste. But you never know if you don't try!

Check out the Mystery Link-up on Bonnie's blog to see what others are doing or get started on your own version - it's not too late! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

FNSI Update & Mystery Kick-off

The holiday weekend has come to a close and we are off and running with On Ringo Lake!  I was so excited to get started that I didn't really think about how many strip sets I would need for the first step. I was just cutting away when it occurred to me that I might have too many.  I am really hoping we need 1.5" strips elsewhere in this quilt or I have a bunch to add to my stash!

I finished the first step easily over the weekend.  Apologies for the blurry photo - it looked okay on the little phone screen.  I am very happy with my colors so far.

I had plenty of extra sewing time this weekend, so I not only was able to catch up on the three Triangle Gatherings blocks Lisa posted recently but also was able to sew and mostly prep the rest of the HSTs for the last five blocks. 

I  can't wait to see what Lisa comes up with for setting these. I still haven't let go of the star idea, but am waiting to see the "official" setting. This project will definitely be on the UFO list for 2018, along with my Starlite Skies SBOW.  I was able to finish another week's blocks over the long weekend. I now have seven weeks completed, so just five more to go.

I ended every evening over the holiday working on the binding to En Provence.  I had hoped to have it finished by now but the sewing is going slowly due to a bum shoulder (who would think that shoulder pain would interfere with hand sewing?) and some obnoxious corners. I tried to be so perfect when working the corners on the longarm but the first two sure have been uncooperative!  Not that I ever get them perfect on the regular machine, but they have been a real pain on this one, likely because I cut the binding narrow.  Anyway I am hoping to finish this week so I can get back to rug hooking in the evenings.

I am looking forward to checking out the Monday Mystery Link-up on Bonnie's blog for a first peek at all of the different color options for this year's mystery. It is always so much fun to see what others are doing!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Four More Sleeps!

It's almost time for this year's mystery to begin!  I was able to get my binding sewn onto my En Provence quilt yesterday and started stitching it down last night. There's no chance I will get it finished before Friday but I am very close! I decided to bind it with green since that was the only fabric from the quilt that I was able to find (Note to self: set binding fabric aside rather than putting everything away!) and I really like how it looks. I will post a picture as soon as it is completely finished.

It's hard to believe that it has been over a week since we've been back from Shipshewana. What a wonderful retreat!  Of course I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I had hoped. I had prepped weeks 5 through 12 of my Starlite Skies SBOW and only managed to finish one week's worth and make a start on the next. I finished week 6 over the weekend and started week 7. I hope to keep plugging along with this one even after the mystery starts.  It will be at the top of my 2018 UFO list as I can't wait to see how it turns out and am looking forward to trying my hand at custom quilting on it.

Now for a few pictures of things I didn't do!  Di Ford was a wonderful teacher. I had three days of classes with her in Shipshewana and thoroughly enjoyed them even though I wasn't at all productive. She provided a lot of guidance on selecting and cutting fabrics for broderie perse. I still don't really like the technique but am willing to give it a go on her class projects.

Here's Di's quilt from the first class, "Bally Hall Birds".  By the end of the class I had shopped for fabrics to make it a little less pink and precisely cut my 20.5" center block (precision required because of the broderie perse border - no pressure!). Definitely nothing picture-worthy!

Then there was day two, "Couronne d'oiseaux" (or something like that).  Di shared with us that the quilt was named as part of a little classroom comptetition when she was teaching it in Holland. The name in English is the "Birdy Wreath" - I will have to stick with that one because my French is terrible. 

I absolutely love the pieced inside border section of this quilt! Di actually pieced hers by machine - she said she did it to save time, but I am thinking that had to be a real pain. Definitely a better candidate for hand piecing (although still a huge amount of work).  Again, at the end of the day I had a center cut out. Nothing more. Starting to sense a trend?

Day three of workshops was the "Giggleswick Mill Sampler" from Di's second book. This time I not only cut out my background, but I cut out a lot of the broderie perse flowers, too.  I did not get them placed on my background, though, so I came home with a bunch of loose pieces.  This is probably my favorite of the three as it combines broderie perse with more piecing.

That sums up what I didn't accomplish, so moving on to plan what I hope to actually accomplish next. I have landed on my colors for the mystery and am ready to go!

I will be substituting the darker teal for Bonnie's chocolate brown as she said this color needs strong contrast.  I am substituting the tans for the coral - I think the values are similar. Hopefully these will work well in the design.  Only four more sleeps until the fun begins!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November Already?

This year is definitely flying by!  I was watching The Chew during lunch yesterday and they were preparing Thanksgiving recipes. I'm not ready for the holidays yet!  But I am ready for this year's Quiltville mystery to start - I started thinking about colors even before Bonnie posted the fabric requirements this week. I found the fabric on the left - the batik print - while I was down in Springfield, MO this past weekend taking a class on the new Statler software.  I decided I would use it as my inspiration piece, and now that we have the final size of the quilt (75" x 90") it may end up being a border.  I pulled a few fabrics from my stash last night to play with color options.  I was thinking dark teal, light teal and coral:

The coral looks really orange in this picture - I don't think I like it.  I may need to go with a shade of pink/magenta or possibly gold?  I will try those combos tonight.

This week's big news is that I finally finished my Disappearing Nine Patch!  I started this quilt in 2007 as a block exchange with my bee friends.  It was the first quilt listed on my quilt projects tab when I started blogging back around 2008.  I am very excited to be able to mark it complete!

I also was able to get last year's mystery, En Provence, quilted this week. After my most recent class I was feeling pretty confident about using my machine and decided I would try another feather pattern (I tried one on the very first "real" quilt I quilted and it was a disaster!). I am very happy with how it turned out. I still need to prepare the binding and get it sewn on. I would like to finish this one before the next one starts if at all possible.

I'm heading off to Shipshewana for a retreat and classes with Di Ford next week.  I am really looking forward to learning from Di and am hoping to actually make a little progress on my Starlite Skies BOW outside of class time. This will be my last "fun" trip for the year.  It's time to start planning for 2018!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Aunt Emma & Other Progress

I'm still working to restore order after a month of crazy travel - nine trips in five weeks!  I have been trying very hard to stay caught up with Triangle Gatherings although it does really seem like Lisa is plotting against me...she seems to post new blocks the minute I think I'm on top of it. Here are blocks 63-74:

Lisa has said that there will be a total of 90 blocks so we are getting pretty close to the end! It will be interesting to see how she sets them. Several of the participants have added star points to them and they look fantastic.  I'm  not thrilled about the idea of adding that much work to a project that is nearing the finish line but I really, really like the look.  It would certainly make for a large quilt!

Baltimore on the Prairie was a lot of fun this year.  We had a great group in the Open Studio.  I spent the entire three days working on one SLAM block and sadly didn't even finish!  I still have a few flowers and leaves to applique and then need to add embroidery.  I love this project but progress is sooooo slow!

The last trip I took was to Janice's. My plan was NOT to start anything new.  I was planning to work on the rug that I started in July. My resolve was very faded as soon as I saw the new pattern Janice had drawn from an antique rug one of my friends found on Pinterest when we were together back in July.  She named it "Aunt Emma's Garden". Here's a really fuzzy picture of the original:

I thought it would be fun to hook the rug in just red and green.  I was able to get a fairly good start on it while I was there and love how it is looking.  My friend is hooking it in soft pinks.  I can't wait to see how they turn out and how different they look.

I was able to make progress on a couple of other UFOs over the past week now that I am finally home.  I finished hooking my cabins - photo to come later after it has been steamed - and quilted my Disappearing Nine Patch.  I tested my newly-learned skill to attach the binding by longarm and loved it!  It was a bit awkward at first but overall worked out really well and was so much easier than man-handling a queen sized quilt through a regular machine.

I have a lot of binding work to catch up on now...not my favorite part.  I plan to quilt my En Provence top next - I need to have that one finished before the new mystery starts at Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lots of Travel

September has been crazy busy and lots of fun so far and it's not over yet!  I just returned from Baltimore on the Prairie 2017 and will be heading out this week for the MQX show in Springfield. I've done a lot of flying and driving in the past few weeks (there was a business trip to Connecticut in the mix) and although I don't have much to show for it project-wise my brain is exploding with inspiration!

Before heading off to Nebraska I made a quick day trip down to the first fall Paducah Quilt Week to take a class with my quilting hero, Lisa Bonjean. It was everything I hoped it would be and more!  Lisa is a fantastic designer and even better teacher.  I didn't get very far on my project but have it all prepped to stitch.  Perhaps I can have it finished for fall next year!

I was part of the inaugural class of the Open Studio at Baltimore on the Prairie this year.  I spent quite a bit of time prepping projects in the weeks prior to the trip and had great hopes of getting lots of things accomplished.  I took five projects along - two SLAM blocks, two panels of clamshells, wool appliqué and English paper piecing.  And how much did I get done?  Not even one SLAM block - and I worked on it the entire time!

We learned several new tricks from our Open Studio classmates and saw some amazing work.  One of this year's teachers, Jeana Kimball, shared some of her recent Baltimore album research with us and gave us a sneak preview of the Jane Austin-inspired quilt she is working on.

She's added some appliqué to some of her diamonds and changed the border to triangles.  It looks great so far!  

I don't have much in the way of my own work to share in this post, so I will settle for a somewhat recent picture of my Maggie rug. Since this was taken I've hooked the bird and the tree and have started the background in that section.  I am making myself finish the background nearly down to the cabin before hooking the cabin itself - I can't stand to leave the boring stuff for last!

I would love to have this finished and ready to bind when I head to Janice's next week.  Not that there's any chance that will happen!  How long until I can retire??