Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Monday, er, Wednesday Meanderings

My  last top of the 2017 was also my first finish for 2018.  I quilted and bound it over the last week or so.   I quilted it with Omni thread on the top and Magna Glide in the bobbin.  Both were a light blue although you can't really see it well in the picture.  I have a lot of Magna Glide bobbins so I'm happy to use some up.  Someone on the Nolting Longarm group I belong to suggested using Magna Glide with the Omni.  It worked well enough but I'm not sure I would do it a lot.  Plus, I have limited colors in Omni from Superior.  The pattern is Ariana by Donna Kleinke.

I also finished quilting another charity quilt for Faithful Circle Quilters in Columbia, Md.   Ruthie 2 produces such a nice stitch and is so easy to use I'm getting as much time in quilting as I can. I used Bebop digital design, Sew Fine #471, a light turquoise.  The guild provides me with batting so I'm not sure what was used on this. 

Last week  and this weeks goals...
January 8, 2018
Finish sweater (a UFO since the 1980s!) Making progress
Quilt FCQ charity Quilt
Cut out Alphabet Challenge pieces; start sewing
Finish piecing 2017 Rainbow Challenge top #1√ center done
Clean studio & house for In House Retreat 1/11 – 1/15 and have fun with my friends!

January 15, 2018
Bind balloon quilt
Sew together Alphabet Challenge quilt
Put borders on 2017 Rainbow Challenge top #1
Keep working on sweater (a UFO since the 1980s!)
Keep working on half triangle squares

Here are a couple more pictures from our trip.  We signed up for a snorkeling excursion in Roatan.  Here are the two catamarans that we traveled to the snorkeling location on. 
Here we are on the catamaran -- I think the boats are at the location when I snapped this picture of Pat. 
And, the crew was passing out equipment here. 
And these were my downfall.  
We've snorkeled before so we went out with the experienced group.  They were going to explore reefs a distance from the boat.  I'm in the water.  Pat's in the water.  I can't keep up with anyone.  Pat slows down to help me and then I realize -- I forgot my flippers.  No wonder I couldn't keep up.  Needless to say I failed snorkeling 102.  (My college classes always started the easiest classes as 101, next level was always 102...)  I had to give up and be towed back to the ship by a kayaker.  The only thing that saved my pride was I wasn't the first one to give up.  IF there is a next time I'm going with the novices.  The other big issue is that I can't see much without my glasses so I wasn't going to see all that much any way. It was a nice day on the water and I probably should have just enjoyed a short swim or float in the water rather than trying to actually snorkel.  

That's it for me today.  I still have some pics from the trip.  The snorkeling trip was actually a month ago today.  Sigh. I'm sitting in the living room looking at snow on the roofs.  Luckily, it'll all melt by tomorrow. 

I'm linking up with Midweek Makers, WIPS on Wednesdays, and Wednesday Wait Loss.  I may get motivated on Thursday to add some more linky parties -- come back to see where else I might be surfing (the Net...) Now it is really time to go sew today.  I've got several blocks to make and a border to put on a quilt.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Meanderings & Thread Report

2017 was a banner year for using thread.  Yep, I keep all my spools during the year, then photograph them and count them to see how I did compared to other years.  I did great this year.  The 30 spools I used up ties with 2014 for the most spools used.  Special thanks goes to my friend Beth who comes on Tuesdays and sews with me.  If she didn't have the right color I passed her one of mine.  A win-win for sure. 
Spools Used Up

I generally don't use polyester thread when quilting but I have been using it   in the bobbin recently. It is not Dual Duty. I've been using a long arm poly thread in the bobbin.  The plastic cone broke so it won't work on the long arm any more but I can wind bobbins with it.  It's thin so it helps with the accurate quarter inch seam. For the longest time I only used cotton thread while piecing.  Early on I made a quilt that got washed a lot.  Eventually the fabric gave out because the thread was too strong for it.  That explains my fondness for cotton thread. Do you use polyester thread in your quilts? Do you have a favorite brand? 

Here is my first goal list for 2018.  I have my friends coming down from Maryland for our In House Retreat on Thursday.  Special thanks goes to the weather for cooperating with our plans.  Because next Monday is a holiday they can stay for a full day of sewing Sunday and leave Monday to drive home. We're all excited to get together. Ruthie 2 should be humming along this week too. 

January 8, 2018
Finish sweater (a UFO since the 1980s!)
Quilt FCQ charity Quilt
Cut out Alphabet Challenge pieces; start sewing
Finish piecing 2017 Rainbow Challenge top #1
Clean studio & house for In House Retreat 1/11 – 1/15 and have fun with my friends! 

That's it for today.  I'm linking up with my regular parties: Moving It Forward, Monday Making and Main Crush Monday.  It's been fun to catch up with all my favorite blogs.  Hope you take some time and look at some too. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January OMG Choice

I'm squeaking in just before the deadline for the January OMG.  I couldn't decide what to work on and then BOOM, it hit.  I have a brown bag challenge quilt to get done -- in a month or so.  Not that I haven't had the fabric for 6+ months. I believe the challenge is called "The Alphabet Challenge."  I've been considering it in the back of my head for a while.  In fact, I bought the cutest white on white alphabet fabric to use.  

My first thought was to do various sports letters to look somewhat like a crossword puzzle.  Um, too many letters are repeats -- lots of balls involved.  Plus when I went to the stash all the sports themed fabric I thought I had came down to one small piece of fabric that wouldn't fit the size I wanted to make the blocks.  Toss that idea. 

Next up was dog theme.  Checked the stash and yep, I have dog themed fabrics.  (The blues on the left, bottom and right came in the bag.  Not big pieces and not much variety.) I can augment from the stash. 

On to words -- well why not dog talk: yip, arf, bark, woof.  You get the idea.  So I decided to try the design in EQ and see how big it could be and how many blocks I would need. 
Ok.  Decided that would work once I changed the four patches from all blue to blue and white.  I could appliqué the letters on the white parts and get the results I had in my mind. 

Except my brain continued to work overnight.  I woke up this am and thought perhpaps I'll just put the words on the outside border.  I was planning on using the light fabrics on the bag in the picture above for the letters.  I even have an alphabet to use.  Today I'll refigure the quilt so I can put letters on the border. Hum, maybe I could do a big quilting stitch and just stitch the words.  More to consider...after I get the center done. 

So the OMG is to get this top pieced.  If I get it quilted and bound, all the better. It'll be displayed at the FCQ show in the spring and then donated to Project Linus.   

Are you living in the frozen zone?  The last two days the morning temp has been 0º.  Yep, you read that right. Needless to say the studio is a great place to be right now.  I keep the heat up and stay busy so I'm a happy camper.  We did go out the last few mornings for our normal workouts at the community clubhouse. 

Want to go swimming? 

If you click on the close up it will enlarge and you might be able to see that the fountain in the center is still on and throwing water up.  The ground view of this is what we see as we doing our workouts.  This is very unusual weather for Fredericksburg, Va.  I'm looking forward to later next week when it'll be in the 50's -- maybe the 60's.  

Do you live where the weather can change drastically in  a few days?  

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal January link up.  

Happy quilting all!  Bonnie