Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Star-studded Weekend

I made great progress on my little 3” star cornerstones over the weekend!  I managed to finish starching the rest of the 244 fabric squares and to complete 34 stars, bringing my current total to 42.  That leaves just 30 more to go - something I can easily accomplish next weekend. 

I was trying to decide if I would forge ahead with this project for April or move on to something else for a while, but when both Patchwork Times and APQ chose it (UFO #5) as the April project I decided it was meant to be, so this is my OMG for April. My goal will be to get the top pieced this month.  I have no idea how I will quilt it (I don't think E2E will work for this), so that is likely to take a while. But getting all the loose parts assembled would be an exciting achievement, particularly since I haven't finished a Primitive Gatherings SBOW project since 2010. Sad....

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal for April. I love seeing what everyone else is working on!

Monday, March 26, 2018

March OMG Update

I'm double-dipping with this post - posting both a slightly belated Friday Night Sew-In update as well as a progress report for the Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal (OMG) link-up. I hope to have time to catch up on everyone's posts later today - it looks like a lot of fols were really busy this month!

I started the weekend with just one week's star blocks left to finish - or so I thought!  I checked the finishing instructions and found that there were two more star blocks still to do - a total of 50 in the quilt.

So as I have been doing all month, I got to work piecing the little center stars and then sewing the strip sets for the nine patches. I decided to mix the strips for the extra two blocks in with week 12 so I wouldn't have any duplicate fabrics.  

By Saturday afternoon I had finished the last of the blocks. Twenty-two blocks completed in March.  Not bad!

I was so excited to dive into the finishing kit, already starting to ponder how I will quilt this top, when I read the next step. I need to make 72 more little stars for cornerstones.  That's a LOT of stars! So I had to get out my trusty wire rack and start starching fabric again. It's going to take a while to get all of those squares starched, but I managed to get enough ready to sew my first 8.  Just 64 more to make!

I took a little break from sewing binding last night to work on one of my little baskets.  I'm not sure how many years ago I started this project, but I know that I was working on it when I traveled to Australia in 2010, so it has been a while!  I am not sure where I put all my finished blocks and the rest of the fabrics, and don't even remember how many blocks I have finished, but I still love this quilt and would like to get back to it. I think I might even replace one of my other UFOs on my list with this one - is that cheating? 

I need to give some thought to my April OMG project.  Do I stick with Starlite Skies?  I feel like I'm on a roll. Or give myself a break and move on to something else? I will have to see how I am feeling about little stars by the end of the week...

Monday, March 5, 2018

Starting Something New

Now that I have On Ringo Lake out of the sewing room, I decided it was finally time to start something new.  Alabama Star has been at the top of my list for quite some time and I finally settled on a background so I jumped in with the first of the "octagon" blocks.  

I was just not happy with how the center went together with the paper pieces.  I know that I should probably get the rest of the side triangles on and take the papers out of the center before I decide, but having hand pieced a queen-sized LeMoyne Star previously I feel like getting that center right with all those papers in there will be a gigantic pain.  I think hand piecing might be the better solution. I decided to stop where I was and bite the bullet and order the stamps from the Netherlands. It hurts to pay $25 in shipping, but I think I will be happier in the long run. Now I just have to wait for them to make that long trip across the pond!

So with that project put on hold, I decided to start on the 2018 TQS BOM.  I finished the January blocks (3 each of 3 patterns) so now I am only one month behind.  I hope to be caught up by the end of March.

I had to decide what to choose for my One Monthly Goal project for March. I could have chosen one of the UFOs selected for this month, but neither of those was really calling to me. I should have chosen Triangle Gatherings to get all of those blocks and pieces off my sewing table, but I am still trying to decide how I want to set that one. I decided to go with the project I was most excited to get back to: Starlite Skies.  I have the first seven weeks' blocks completed:

And started the weekend with five left to go:

I was able to get week #8 to this point - just need to sew the big nine patches now.

I'm not sure how far I can reasonably expect to get in a month, but my goal is to at least have all of the blocks pieced. I looked at the finishing kit yesterday to remind myself what was involved and was so excited (yes, that's sarcasm) to see that all the cornerstones are stars....so I have MANY more stars to make before this one becomes a top.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal (OMG) March link-up - hoping to be three for three by month's end!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February OMG Update

I am so excited to have two almost-finishes to report as this short month comes to a close!  I was actually able to exceed my own expectations with my On Ring Lake quilt - not only did I finish piecing the top, but I quilted it and attached the binding (I still have to sew it down - not my favorite part of quilting). It is such a huge relief to have all of those pieces and parts out of my sewing room, and I absolutely love how it turned out!

I also managed to make great progress on my Floral No. 7 rug. I finished hooking it just in time to take it with me to the Lenexa hook-in to bind. I am only about half way done with the binding but I couldn't resist posting it now - it will be completely finished soon!

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal again this month.  I'm really struggling with which project to choose for March - I don't want to break my streak! More on that later this week....

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Wrapping Up & Planning Ahead

In stark contrast to my last post where I claimed victory on my January OMG project, I have to report a complete fail for pretty much everything else. I really tried to work on my Patchwork Times UFO, my tumbers....but they are SO boring!  It takes me way too long to choose the pieces in an effort to avoid repetition, and then every single time I add a row I find that I have somehow randomly managed to line up the same fabrics in multiple spots. I did manage to assemble a couple of rows and add one row to the section I am currently working on but it is still far from finished.

I didn't even touch my APQ UFO.  Okay, that's not quite true - I picked up the baggie with all of the pieces for one of the last two blocks and decided it didn't look at all fun to work on so it went back into the UFO pile.  

And while I had lots of ideas and good intentions to start one of my new projects for my 6 & 6 in 2018, I somehow never managed to get any of them going. I am going to bend the rules a little and start one this weekend...just a little late.

I'm pretty sure the reason behind my lack of success in January is the state of my sewing room.  It currently looks like On Ringo Lake exploded in there. Every horizontal surface (and one vertical one) is covered in pieces and parts of that quilt.

I have assembled one corner and quite a few of the blocks, including another 10 or so that aren't on the design wall yet, but I have a long way to go on it! Luckily it is this month's Patchwork Times UFO and I am selecting it as my OMG project for the month as I really need to reclaim my sewing room.

My other distraction in January was my clamshell project. I would love to have it finished before Irene comes back this fall - a real stretch, I know.  I have been prepping the clams with starch and sewing them into sections of ten rows of six. I recently went back to prepping them by basting like Irene taught in her class.  It's not quite as fast for me but it is certainly more portable! 

This is my third panel of 60 clams.  It isn't completely assembled yet and I can see one that needs to be moved now that I look at the picture...

I laid out the three panels side by side and decided that I need three more clams across to get the size I need, so I will have to make one panel of 3x10 and then will do the rest 7x10.  I am not sure how many rows of panels I will need - I will do that math later to keep myself from getting too discouraged!

So much for my non-progress report for January. Linking up with Elmstreet Quilts One Monthly Goal and 6 & 6 in 2018 - hopefully I will do better at sticking with my plans this month!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January OMG Update

I made significant progress on my Floral No. 7 rug this month and am very happy with how it is shaping up.  I redrew the border, changing from the "targets" to vines and leaves, and finished hooking the center. I am mixing the colors from the center motifs in the leaves, going a little heavy on the light gray, mainly because I have more of that left over than any of the other wools.

It's hard to tell how large this one is from the photo.  It isn't huge, but at 31.5"x 52" it is by no means tiny!  I am hoping I can finish it up in February.  I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal January Finishes, considering this month's box checked! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

6 & 6 in 2018

When my friend Heather posted about the 6 & 6 in 2018 link-up hosted by pomegranate and chintz and frayed at the edge I was immediately interested in joining in. I am definitely one of those people that can't commit to only working on UFOs or not starting something new until I complete something else. Where's the fun in that?!? It's been particularly problematic this year - I think the fact that I have barely left the house in three weeks due to the extreme cold has prompted more internet surfing and blog reading which has resulted in inspiration overload!

I chose 6 items from my UFO list for this link-up. I especially like the fact that we won't be assigned a month so this gives me a little freedom to pick up some of the projects I am most excited about when the assigned ones aren't doing it for me. I've posted pictures of all of those previously so for the purposes of this link-up I have just marked them with an asterisk on the sidebar and on my UFO page.

And then there is the "new project" list. I had to go back and read the fine print on the 6&6 post to be sure it didn't specify anywhere that we could ONLY start 6 new projects - I couldn't commit to that! Between the Primitive Gatherings SBOWs and the annual Bonnie Hunter mystery I would only have a couple of new starts left...or perhaps I can restrain myself from signing up for all the SBOWs this year? Anyway, my head is about to explode just trying to decide what new project I will start first.

One that will have to be on my list is the Jane Austen quilt. A few of my friends and I saw a version of this quilt being created by Jeanna Kimball at the 2017 Baltimore on the Prairie conference that inspired us to want to do this project as a group.  Here's a picture of the original from Linda Franz's site:

And then there is the "Alabama Star" quilt that I fell in love with when Barbara Brackman posted it on her blog back in 2016.

One of her followers designed stamps to use to hand piece this quilt but she is located in Europe so they are a little pricey, and I was thinking this might be better to do with EPP.  So I contacted Paper Pieces and now have a complete set of papers to get this quilt started. Now I just have to decide on what fabrics I want to use!

I recently came across this picture on Facebook and fell in love with the birds.  The pattern is "Feathers" from The Pattern Basket. The birds are all pieced - no applique. So cute!

While running through all the recordings on the DVR in my sewing room over Christmas break I watched an old (2015) episode of Fons & Porter that featured a really nice log cabin variation made with a fat quarter bundle. I think this would be a great way to use one of the many fat quarter bundles I have collected over the years.

When I first saw The Quilt Show BOM for 2018 I wasn't really interested, even though it was designed by Edyta Sitar. But then I watched her on the BOM kick-off episode of the show and saw an email featuring the multi-colored version using her new Crystal Farm line, and I started to waiver.

Which then led to an impulse order of a bunch of new fabric (which arrived in only two days)!

I am still undecided on this one.  The Crystal Farms fabric would look really great in the Alabama Star project too. I will have to give it a little more thought and try to narrow the field to just ONE new start to report on at the end of January!