Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 30 - 2019 & Stashbusting!

Can I just say I'm pretty surprised I haven't posted my stashbusting statistics since MAY!  I could have sworn I figured them out over the last few months -- but no, I can't find them.  Nothing was posted on my blog and the Excel spreadsheet was missing the last four months too. So here they are. Please note I haven't bought any fabric for 2 full months.  Unbelievable! I can assure you some fabric will come home in October. Here is the report for June, July August and September.  
Fabric In Month
Fabric In Year
Fabric Out Month
Fabric Out Year
Total In or Out Year

For the last few weeks I've been trying to get three charity quilts quilted for Faithful Circle Quilters in Maryland.  I'll be seeing a couple of gals from there this coming weekend and want to pass off at least some of the quilts.  And, yes, I did succeed in getting three done. One was done in mid-August before surgery.  The other two were finished last week. Here's the last one. Pattern is Whisper by My Creative Stitches; thread is So Fine 414 -- a cranberry red.

Thursday afternoon we realized it was Theo's birthday party on Saturday. EEK! We hadn't done anything for bd presents.  A quick trip to the store scored us a great book about construction vehicles that were like dinosaurs.  We checked with Aimee to make sure he didn't already own the book. Victory! It combined his two favorite things. Pat picked one of his wooden toys to give him and I embroidered a dinosaur on a sweatshirt I had on hand. I forgot to take any pictures of the sweatshirt. Bummer.  But Kevin sent us one the next day.  It hasn't been sweatshirt weather at all and doesn't look like it will be anytime soon... but Theo must have liked the shirt with his favorite dino on it. (The design is one from Funky Dinosaurs by Designs by Juju.)

Since the embroidery unit was out I decided to embroider my studio sweatshirt. I'd been planning to for a long time. Last night I woke in the middle of the night and realized the design wouldn't show because of the hoodie. I'm thinking of cutting off the hoodie and putting a ribbing on or some sort of binding.  The design is Quilt Clothesline from Embroidery Library.  The threads are a multitude of different colors and brands -- Mettler Polysheen, Arc, Isacord.  I try to use only poly threads since most of what I do will see plenty of washings. I still need to take the topping off and trim the stabilizer on the back.  I'll be doing that at the stitching group today. And decide about the hoodie.  Let me know if you have some suggestions too.  

This weekend is retreat!  I figured out today that I've had 9 wonderful retreats with this group of women.  We really have a great time. I look forward to it and plan my projects months in advance. This year I'm a little behind on the planning part.  I've got 3 more blocks to cut out for my last project.  As I've said many a time I do best with easy projects that are all ready to sew.  Need I say I'm looking forward to it?  

Here's what I wanted to get done before retreat. 
Quilt two charity quilts for Faithful Circle Quilters
Cut and package 2 more quilt kits to take on retreat ... Almost done...
Clean up the cutting table so I can use all of it again ... Started, really it is

I won't guarantee the cutting table will be all cleaned up before I go but I have made a decent dent in it.  I'm trying to put away scraps and fabrics left on it for the last 6 months or so.  (What was I thinking? Just leaving fabrics out.  Sigh.) I know when I figure out what I want to do over the next month or so it will be actually finishing some of the quilt tops.  Hum, that would help the fabric usage stats a bit.  I'll decide next week. 

Here's where I'm linking up:  Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, and What I Made Monday.   I took several breaks over the last week and enjoyed reading blogs from the Monday linky parties.  I'm probably not going to get to as many as I did last week -- I don't anticipate spending lots of computer time this week.  

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 23 - 2019

Almost no quilting happened this past week.  I did get a bit of knitting done on the sweater I'm making for Ellie.  (Hum, must take a picture to share one of these days.) I did get one charity quilt loaded and one row quilted before I ran out of time. 

Here's why I ran out of time.  As some of you know we own a beach house in Nags Head, NC. We headed down there Wednesday to see whether we had any damage from the hurricane earlier this month.  Plus we needed to spruce up the place and get ready for the new rental management team that will start in October.  I'll leave it at I was exhausted at the end of every day.  We were working like crazy! We didn't come home until Sunday. 

I did spend a little time with my photos on my computer.  (I take lots of pictures and then go back and throw away what I don't like or need.) I ran across a quilt I don't think I've ever shared. This quilt started with a box of fabrics and orphan blocks from Country Piecemakers.  I began by putting the blocks on the design wall to see what I needed to fill in.  Some of the fabrics came from the box others from my stash.  This looks like the blocks and fillers were already sewn in columns.  (I don't remember as I did this in January or so.) I was auditioning a border. 
Here's a close up of the blocks on the left.  A cute, bright little turtle. 
I quilted it with a big lazy stipple. And, note, no border -- not enough fabric to do one. 
And here is the finished product.  I passed this on to Janet for a NICU baby.  I really like this quilt -- mostly because of the bright happy colors. 

A reminder, mostly to me, of what I need to get done in the next week and a half.... retreat is almost here! 

Quilt two charity quilts for Faithful Circle Quilters
Cut and package 2 more quilt kits to take on retreat
Clean up the cutting table so I can use all of it again 

I did start to clean up the cutting table. Which amounts to putting away a ruler or two and moving 10 scraps to trash or appropriate place.  There's a LOT more to be done. I'll be focusing on the quilting the charity quilts the most.  I've probably got more than enough projects to work on at retreat. I have one project half cut out so I should try to finish that. 

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday (welcome back Beth!), Moving It Forward, and What I Did Monday. Enjoy checking out these blogs.  They are wonderful for inspiration!  And don't we all need another quilt idea to add to our list of what we'd like to make some day? 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 16 - 2019

You would think I would remember what I was going to put in my blog each time I started to write one.  But that didn't work well for me last week.  I left out several pictures that I'm sharing today. 

First up a big thank you to Nancy who blogs at Wyoming Breezes.  I've read her blog for years.  Her posts aren't long, aren't always about quilting but they are always interesting.  She had a contest last month.  I came the closest to guessing how many 4 patches she'd sewn in a chain.  I was 14 under the final count of 226 units.  EEK that is a lot of sewing and cutting.  The prize arrived over a week ago.  I took pictures, prepped the picture to put into last week's blog and then proceeded to forget about the whole thing.  GOOD GRIEF.  So here's my prize package that was so much fun to receive. I own several postcard quilt patterns but not these two.  I suspect there will be a Voyager in my future. I also send notes and cards through the mail so the gorgeous note cards will be put to use soon.  Thanks Nancy for a fun prize package and a fun little contest. 

Here's what is on my design wall this week. First up is 10 hexagons made to enter a block lottery at retreat at the beginning of October. Each block earns you an entry in the lottery. Colleen, who organizes the whole retreat picks a number of blocks you can win and then draws a fairly large number of winners.  But wait! There's more.  Instead of just picking the number of blocks won, you are blindfolded as are all the other winners and you grab the number of blocks you've won.  It's wild but fun.  Last year was the first year I didn't win any blocks. (Not that I minded -- I always have to make quilts from the blocks so it was liberating.)  Colleen was interested in hexagons this year so here are the 10 I made following her directions.  Must have nature oriented center, a dark ring and then a light ring.  These things took forever to make.  Think 12 fairly short seams and after each seam they needed pressing and trimming.  I was happy to finally finish all of them. 

The other action in the studio centered around this set of blocks.  I started them in January or so. I trimmed them to the same size (13.75") and sewed the vertical sashing in place. I'm ready to sew the horizontal sashing. Note, the top horizontal sashing is just placed there to show what it will be like.  And, darn it! The rows are probably an inch wider than the width of fabric I'm using. Gnashing of teeth and growling. The colored fabrics were from a fat quarter stack my daughter gave me for Christmas.  I'm happy to put some of them to use here. Actually the background fabric, sashing and corner stones were all pulled from my stash. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you a finished top soon.  

I've decided I probably won't do weekly goals for a while.  But there are a few projects I'm trying to finish by the end of the month. I'm posting a list because I don't want to forget what I need to get done before the October retreat. 

Quilt two charity quilts for Faithful Circle Quilters
Cut and package 2 more quilt kits to take on retreat
Clean up the cutting table so I can use all of it again 

That shouldn't be all that hard to get done as there are two more weeks until retreat. 

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, and What I Made Monday. I'm planning on spending some time seeing what people have been working on.  Last week I didn't spend quality time with blogs.  I missed that.  So, I hope to do better this week. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 9 - 2019

I've been busy in the studio and making progress.  Unfortunately it is very slow progress -- partly because I'm still losing energy and partly because the blocks I've been working on have a gazillion a lot of pieces that need to be sewn.  

First up are blocks for Beth, who is a member of the FCQEquilters group.  The pattern is called Rickrack.  It is part of Missouri Star's videos.  Here's the link if you want to make some yourself.  This is going to be a really cute quilt when done.  Beth asked for cool colors.  Because the block is based on a log cabin style it can be laid out anyway a log cabin can be laid out.  Too cool! 

I'm late finishing these blocks off so I should be starting on the next block.  Of course, I'm not ready to yet.  I need to figure out the finished block size so I make sure I get the units made correctly.  I think it is 20" or so and we only need to make one.  Should be fun to give it a go. 

As I've mentioned before, the Country Piecemakers retreat is just around the corner.  I was working on getting a few kits cut out and bundled to make it easier to work on projects.  I have one completely done and another semi-done.  What I'm focusing on now is making blocks for the swap. Here are 5 of the hexagon blocks I've finished. Five more to go. Hum, I may need to use a few more mediums as the final round as the green one really sticks out. (Although I probably won't win any blocks.) 

I realized I haven't shown photos from the rest of our California trip.  We were staying with my brother and sister-in-law in Orinda.  They were the perfect hosts and tour guides.  We went to the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio.  If you are a Mickey Mouse fan or Disney fan this is a must see museum.

It's hard to see all the Oscars but check out the center bottom Oscar.  It was for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Someone had a sense of humor! Mickey Mouse was evident throughout the museum.

Here's a large poster showing Mickey circa 1933. I have to admit I was so busy looking at the artifacts and reading about them that I didn't get all that many pictures. 
The weather was cloudy in the morning.  It's hard to tell but the bay is straight down the sidewalk behind the tree standing by itself. (Well, it probably is farther away than that but that's what it looks like in this picture.) The Presidio is a former Army fort on the northern tip of San Francisco. It's now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. You can read more about it at Wikipedia's entry Presidio of San Francisco.

After several hours enjoying the museum we went over to Sausalito, under the Golden Gate Bridge. The morning marine layer was still hanging around.  
 We had a great lunch in Sausalito and then went across the street to a harbor.  The sun was shining, the day had turned beautiful. Here are the tour directors: Larry and Jean. 
Unfortunately on the way home the freeway came to a grinding halt. We inched along for a couple of hours.  Argh, it reminded me of the worst of I-95 at home.  Overall it was a fabulous day.  I'll share our last day in San Francisco soon. (Notice that is an open-ended time period!) 

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, and What I Made Monday. I hope you can spend some time seeing what folk's are working on this week. 

Happy Quilting, Bonnie 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Meandering 9 - 2 - 2019

Yep, I skipped another blog post.  Not much to say then except I came through my surgery with flying colors. (Whatever does that really mean?)  Don't worry -- it was a fairly simple surgery to get rid of unused parts. (GAH doesn't that sound weird...!) Now, one and a half weeks out I'm doing pretty well.  Biggest issue is I don't have much stamina.  So, I can work in the studio but I'm worn out for the rest of the day.  Sigh.  I miss my energy. 

My big goal post-surgery was to hand sew the binding on "With a Little Help from My Friends."  I had finished quilting it and had sewn the binding on the front side of the quilt pre-surgery.  What I failed to realize was it was batik front and back.  Needless to say sewing down the binding went really slowly.  I usually tried to do two lengths of thread each day - I wanted it completely done on August 31.  And, yes, I succeeded!  
As some may realize, I am terrible at naming my quilts.  This time the name popped into my head before I'd even finished it. I participated in batik strip swap many years ago at a FCQ retreat.  (So long ago that we've had the retreat in two different locations which tells me at least 8 years, maybe 10 years ago.) 
This was quilted with "Pipeline" a great design to add texture.  Click on most pictures and they will enlarge.  I used So Fine thread in purple. (Sorry don't know the number off hand.) 

In the top picture, the bush at the bottom right is our butterfly bush.  Unfortunately it is an invasive species so we make sure it doesn't spread too much.  But I really enjoy watching all the butterflies who flitter around it.  Here's another picture of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.  I'm amazed I was able to get such a good photo of it.  This is a female -- see the blue at the bottom of her wings?  You can see the other pic of a female here. Either I've gotten a lot better at taking pictures, or, more likely, the butterfly is so busy she doesn't realize she's doing such a great job of posing. If you look closely you can see her wings are tattered and torn a bit.  Look at the right one -- follow from the two yellow spots near the leaf.  There's a bit missing -- it probably was another yellow dot.  

Once again, I'm not posting goals.  I'm slowly getting things done but the key word is slowly.  I did succeed in putting another kit together for the October retreat.  Still need to finish the other one I'm working on. Beyond that I think I've got two other quilts in progress I can work on which should be enough for a 3 night retreat.  

I'm linking up with the following parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Makings, Moving It Forward and What I Made Monday. Take a few minutes to see what folks are up to now. 

That's it for me today.  I'm off to a hand stitching group where we do all sorts of handwork.  I'll be knitting on a sweater that I haven't worked on for weeks.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie