Wednesday, January 31, 2018

One Monthly Goal Success!

Yes! I finished my OMG this month.  I wanted to get my alphabet challenge quilt top made.  Check that off of my to do list√.  It should get on Ruthie today as I finished the backing fabric also. 

And a close up of one of my favorite dog fabrics.  And, look closely at the white square under the doggy print.  Yep, a white on white with letters on it.  I got that up in Lancaster county when I was on retreat last May. It works perfectly in this challenge.  
This will be quilted with dog paws.  I've changed my mind (several times) about how I would get some words on it.  I'll keep you posted. Do you participate in quilt challenges? 

It's time for me to get to work here in the studio.  I'm linking up with Elm Creek Quilts and Mid Week Makers over at Quilt Fabrication.  Join me as I do a bit of quilt blog surfing.  I might find something new I need to make. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Meanderings 1 - 29 - 2018

Yikes, how can we be 1/12th done with 2018. (Or at least almost 1/12th done.  Don't count on me for super math skills.)  I worked hard this week to complete the goals I set for myself last week.  I considered myself successful although one item is being moved to this week. 

I finished the sweater that has been a UFO since the 1980s (think early 80's.) To truly appreciate this sweater you have to go back to a post I did in 2015, Knitting UFO Revival. I'll wait for you; done yet?  Well, some of my worries were spot on.  For the most part the stripes lined up pretty well.  Except, er, somehow the left sleeve and front has an extra row than the right sleeve and front.  Never noticed it until I was burying yarn.  Go ahead, count them.  7 rows on the sleeve and 7 rows on the left side.  Luckily the 7th row on the front was only a partial row so people aren't going to notice the extra row in the front.  
The sweater is a bit tight at the bottom and big at the top.  The sleeves are definitely big from the cuff up.  I think I must have gotten the neckband a few rows too many. After staying up half the night last night I was able to bury all the loose threads and sew on 11 buttons, which don't stay buttoned all that well.  I'm done with it.  I'll probably leave it in the studio to put on when I'm chilled.  It is definitely a warm sweater.  So a few things about this:  The pattern is hitting the recycling bin asap.  I not only did NOT run out of the main yarn I have a complete skein left.  These buttons don't stay closed well.  I'm too tired of this to do anything else on it.  I still really like the color although this pic isn't showing the color all that well. This sweater is an acrylic yarn but way thicker than the current yarns I've seen at local stores. Anyone have an idea for a one skein project? 

TRUTH -- I have another unfinished sweater with a poinsettia on the front.  I can do about 2 rows of it and then I have to stop because it is such a pain to keep the various yarns straight.  Maybe I'll try to work on it next fall-winter.  But definitely not now!  

So, what is your oldest UFO?  I've got some mini blocks from the same time as that sweater mid 1980s.  I was on Prodigy and the quilting group had lots of exchanges. Some day, maybe I'll do something with them. But don't hold your breath.

Because I don't want anymore UFOs, I finished making the backing of the alphabet challenge quilt.  I had to figure out the math (see note at beginning) to see how I could use all the leftover pieces of doggy fabric and fabric from the bag I was given. Believe me, I do not want to add any of that fabric to my stash. Here it is before I sewed the rows together. 
I made this with multiples of 8" (finished size) fabric.  It's a little busy but I'm tickled to use up some of my own fabric, some of which is 20 years old. (And of course, I still have a piece or two of that despite my best intentions.)  The navy fabric that looks like it has white dots on it came from the brown bag.  The rest are dog prints or dog paw prints from my stash.  The center bright blue print has a few cats along with dogs on it -- just to spice the whole thing up.  I'm hoping to get this quilted this week. 

Here's the goals list from last week. 
January 22, 2018
Get borders on Alphabet Challenge
Make backing for Alphabet Challenge quilt
Finish up sweater
Make more half triangle squares and string blocks
Take small border off charity quilt

Cut out Taps quilt hasn’t happened yet

And this week: 
January 29, 2018
Quilt 1st Rainbow Color Challenge Quilt
Cut Out Taps Quilt
Pick a new project, preferably a UFO to work on
Make 10.5” string blocks for Covered in Love

Quilt Alphabet Challenge quilt

Now it's time to get on with this week.  Here's where I'm linking up with: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, and Moving It Forward. As always I hope you can take some time to see what's going on around the Internet -- we all need new projects, don't we. (wink, wink!) Today I'm going to my Monday stitching group, where much of this sweater was worked on. I've some repair work to do and then I'll get back to hand quilting a couple of quilts.  (yes, at one  time I thought hand quilting was perfectly acceptable. What was I thinking?)

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Quilts from the At-Home Retreat

Two weeks ago three friends came down from Maryland for our annual at-home retreat.  Ruthie 2 was a popular machine over the weekend.  I finished up a charity quilt that I wanted them to take back up to MD.  And they each brought quilts to long arm. 
Here's Nancy working on her quilt.  She chose Malachite pattern designed by Patricia Ritter. 

It was a lot of fun to see the design stitch out.  I bought the design when I had Ruthie and it was a little too big for her.  But it is much better on Ruthie 2 as she has more space.  Check below for the close up of the design.  It provides a lot of texture.  
Close up of Malachite pattern.

Mary Beth brought a TAPS* quilt to get it finished quickly.  (Nothing like a computerized long arm to make quilting easy!) She chose Ginger Stars by Apricot Moon.  This is one pattern that I have used over and over again. There are other "Ginger" patterns that I use a lot too.  

MB also brought this gorgeous quilt to get finished.  I believe it is a Bonnie Hunter quilt but don't know the name.  (MB -- feel free to leave a note with the name!) Her pattern choice was Easy Peasy Baptist Fan by Naomi Hines. 

After much persuading Sharon decided to quilt a TAPS quilt she had just put together. She made this quilt last year as a block of the month through A Quilting Life blog.

She chose the Ginger Stars design also.  (Sharon -- found another star pattern that I didn't have in my notebook.  Maybe your next red, white and blue quilt will be quilted with it.) 

* TAPS stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Members of Faithful Circle Quilters have been supporting the program for several years now.  These donated quilts are given to children who attend the program in May in the DC area.  I recently heard how the children (up through the teens) enjoy receiving the quilts, dragging them around the event.  Even returning campers love getting a new one.  I've got my fabrics pulled and pattern picked out.  It will be my next new quilt, eventually.  Quilts are due by mid-May.

I have more pictures to share of projects that were being worked on... I'll try to remember to include them in another post. 

Today I'm linking up with Midweek Makers, Let's Be Social and tomorrow I'll link with Needle and Thread Thursday. I forgot to come back and link this until Saturday morning -- the link was no longer available.  Sigh.  I hope to spend some time today checking out blogs posted on these linky parties! 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Meanderings January 22, 2018

I've finally recovered from my fun weekend with my sewing buddies.  We spent a lot of time hanging out in the studio and sewing.  This week, I spent a lot of time down there but I don't have a lot to show for it.  So instead I'm sharing bits and pieces of progress.  I've signed up to take Jamestown Landing with Bonnie Hunter in February.   I'm not sure why I signed up except she's a great gal to be around, I like her quilts and it will be good to get to know some of the gals in my new guild better.  (If you live near Fredericksburg and you want to attend check out Virginia Star Quilters.) 

But, do I really need another big quilt?  Well of course I do. We bought white bedroom furniture when we moved this last time. (Honestly, 40+ years with our original furniture -- we'd gotten enough value out of it!) I have several queenside quilts but nothing looks perfect with it.  So, Jamestown Landing got another reason to participate.  

Jamestown Landing is in String Fling by Bonnie Hunter.  I've looked at it many times but wasn't moved to make any big quilts.  But with this event I thought, why not. I already have the book.  I could make a dent in my fabrics (or so I think!)

But here is one of the BIG drawbacks

Yep, 840 half triangle squares.  Unless I decide to make it bigger....  Last time I took a class with Bonnie Hunter one of the gals had already started the quilt.  Hum, we wouldn't be getting a top done in a day with 840 of anything. So I decided to borrow from that gal's bag of tricks.  I've been making triangles for a month or so.  I even opted to buy the multiple Accuquilt die for the triangles.  I can cut 72 triangles at one time.   Here's where I am at with that. 

Yes!  I've already got 220 finished.  Here's how I keep track:  When I've made 10 units I then do a big basting stitch to keep them together.  Right now I'm storing these in a plastic box that scones came in.  At some point I'll probably have to find another box. I'm betting it will take several of them to keep the final amount together. 

I'm also making some string blocks.  I think this is a cherry tomato box.  It fits the strings perfectly.  I'm trying to keep my strings mostly whites with a few creamy colors thrown in.  I do like a crisp white and turquoise quilt.  I need to count and stitch these in groups of 10 too.  
I feel comfortable doing both of these blocks since I've taken a Bonnie class that used these two blocks.  I am looking forward to seeing her new rulers. 

My sewing time has been spent trying to get the quilts on my goals done (or at least more progress made.)  Check out how well I did on last week's goal.  The one thing I really didn't make enough progress on is the sweater.  It's almost done.  I bet if I just gave 3 hours of uninterrupted time to it I'd be wearing it.

I still need to sew the sleeve seams, knit the top band and bury all the loose yarn joins. I guess I'll make the commitment to actually spend the time this week.  I love the color of it and I like cardigans.  It's time to finish this one up! Do you knit sweaters? 

Here's my goal list from last week.  I really did move a lot of different projects ahead. 
January 15, 2018
Bind balloon quilt√
Sew together Alphabet Challenge quilt√ need borders
Put borders on 2017 Rainbow Challenge top #1√
Keep working on sweater (a UFO since the 1980s!)√

Keep working on half triangle squares√

And here's what's up for this week. 
January 22, 2018
Get borders on Alphabet Challenge
Make backing for Alphabet Challenge quilt
Finish up sweater
Make more half triangle squares and string blocks
Take small border off charity quilt
Cut out Taps quilt

That's it for me now.  Please take a look at the linky parties for Monday that I link up with: Oh Scrap, Monday Makings, Moving It Forward Monday, and Main Crush Monday. I'm off to do some surfing. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie