Friday, January 31, 2014

End of January Quilt Update

January Goals:  Let's see how we do

Two quilts made - Raef and Jared - yes
All four Block of Months (BOM's) current - yes
Applique finished on Jen BOM - yes
Cut 3 quilts for next month - yes
Do swap blocks for February - yes
Celtic Solstice - 20 blocks - yes
Hawaiian table runner finished - my UFO for this month - yes
Roll Quilt - yes

Yay Me!  I started out the New Year in fine fashion and January was definitely a busy month in the studio.  As I reported at the beginning of the month, I had taken classes and was full of new ideas.  I had a one day break in my classes on Jan. 2 so Mister and I went to the studio to start yet another quilt.  I'm pretty sure I have hit the insane point.  We do have a good reason for this one though - it is for a grandson's birthday this month.  Mister starts cutting squares and then triangles while I select and press the fabrics.  He even takes the leftover material from each piece and pre-cuts strips for me that I can use later in other projects.  No mess.  Yay!

I join the light and dark triangles which are then pressed and cut into strips.  The strips are then rearranged and resewn with the result being either an uphill or downhill block.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January - First of Year Quilt Update

I am going to try at the beginning of each month to give a quilt update.  I will take pictures throughout the month and then do one update at the beginning of the next one.  Since most of what I have done lately is already documented, this is a new beginning.  My blocks for the exchange are starting to arrive and I am so excited.  I was also treated to some great orange and green strips in my scrap exchange.  Some of them are batiks and oh so pretty.  I am so excited to get the rest of them -- some are coming from as far away as Australia.  I need to get started sewing the ones that go out at the end of January.  I also need to get going on my blocks that I am doing with Jen and Amanda.  Lots to do for sure.  

Here is a quick look at the design wall from my first few days of the month.  What fun I have had.  Let's keep this going.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Extra Credit Class - Bonnie Hunter - Scrappy Bargello

Today is my extra credit class.  Woohoo!  I simply grabbed a bunch of solids that I had sitting around and cut them into strips.  I added some black and am hoping to pull a rainbow of sorts.  It could be a mess -- I guess I'll find out as I go.

The first thing I do is sew 36 strips together in a long panel and then sew the ends together to make a loop.  I am the first one finished so Bonnie takes it to the cutting board and uses my quilt for her demo.  She folds the panel in fourths, squares it up, and starts cutting 2 1/2" strips from it.

She then opens a seam on the first strip loop cut and lays it out.  She lines up the next loop so that it is one off, and opens the next seam so that she can lay it beside the first one and start the pattern.  This continues for all the loops that were cut.

Now to sew the long strips together.  What will I get?  Oh, cool!  It is absolutely vivid.

Everyone in class is full of oohs and aahs as I hold it up.  I LOVE all the other ladies units also, but this one definitely stands out.  We all think it reminds us of a hot air balloon.  I was hoping for more of an Amish look and so will perhaps have to make some adjustments, but do like the rainbow design.

The entire process is repeated and then the two panels are attached.  This quilt really goes quickly.  I KNOW that this project will not become a UFO --- it will be finished in January.

Another great day is in the books.  I told Allison that I was kinda sad for it to end and she remarked that I shouldn't be.  She said, "today was a great day, tomorrow will be another one."  Words to live by.  I will use these 4 days to carry me through for several months and keep my motivation levels up.  Keep on quilting girl --- year of the quilt begins in earnest now.

I cannot express enough thanks to all the ladies who impacted me this past week.  You took me through a tough time with your love and enthusiasm.  I will always be grateful.  A special thank you to Bonnie and Allison.  I hope to see you both again soon --- perhaps a trip with Allison to Moda?  One hopes.

Now -- home to my sweetie who has been totally abandoned this week.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celtic Solstice Clue #6 - Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt - The Big Reveal

Well today Bonnie released the layout for the quilt.  I have taken a few minutes to put a few units on the design wall so that I have an idea of the pattern.  I think it is going to be absolutely beautiful.  I will post my progress on it with my monthly quilt updates from here on out.  Keep checking back and perhaps you will see it come together.

Beginning of Year Quilt Class - Bonnie Hunter - Smith Mountain Morning

It is day 3 and I have really been looking forward to this particular class.  I collected all year for this one and knew that I wanted to do it in green/brown instead of the original blue/brown.  I have been stockpiling greens and browns for quite awhile and have a good variety now.  Are we ready to work with tri-recs again so soon after Celtic Solstice?  I sure hope so, cos here we go.

I really have to put my head down and work today so that I can finish one of each block.  I take very little time to talk to anyone and just sew, sew, sew.  I don't even really talk with Allison or Bonnie much AND my camera is also ignored.  Between Bonnie and I, I have a few pictures to share though.

We learn techniques with the easy angle, companion angle, and tri-rec rulers.  It seems that no matter how many times I see these demos, I learn something new.  I also become more and more of a fan of them.  They make triangles just oh so easy.  Now that I have had an in person demo on the tri-recs, I know what I did wrong with my Celtic Solstice units and do not repeat the mistake.  My star points come out oh so lovely.

Once those are finished, we start on our log blocks and I LOVE THIS BLOCK.  It goes together before class is over and I have accomplished my goal.  However, part way through this block Bonnie asks for us to be quiet and shares with us her thoughts on how we look at ourselves.  With some personal issues going on this week -- it hits me hard and soon the tears are flowing down my check as well as hers.  Ladies - we all really do need to stop being so hard on ourselves.  I know I beat myself up over oh so  much until I cannot sleep or eat and my body is so full of stress that I cannot move.  Being here this week has not only been good for my obsession, but also for my soul.  Thank you Bonnie for your compassion and wisdom.  Also --- the hugs through tears.

Here are my finished blocks:  (a little blurry - sorry - I thought it was because I still had tears in my eyes)

Another day has come and gone.  I was asked if I wanted to return on Friday for another class that has some openings and after thinking about it all day -- I am going to.  Yay!  I have to pack up though as I will not be here for tomorrow's repeat of the mystery class.  Time to go home and relax a bit.  Will cut fabric tomorrow.  What an incredible way to spend New Years Day and the perfect way to set the tone for my whole year.  I am so glad that I have made this a tradition.  I will be back in 2015 and so will Allison and Bonnie.

OH OH OH --- and the reveal for Celtic Solstice came out today.  It is soooo pretty.  I hope I can start putting blocks together within the next couple of weeks.