Friday, February 28, 2014

February Quilt Update

Previous posts:  First of year quilt update  (There are individual class posts for 4 Bonnie Hunter classes as well if you click on Feeling Crafty label and go to older posts.)
                         End of January quilt update

February Goals:  Here we go again

Three quilts  - (Not Quilted)
Three BOM's current - yes
Swap blocks for March - yes
Celtic Solstice - 20 blocks - yes
Roll Quilt - yes
Applique quilt top pieced - yes
UFO project - crochet pink/white afghan - try and finish rows - Whole project completed!
** If time - start cutting next month's quilts.  I am putting this as a maybe since we are going to be in Wyoming for 8 days.  I will take things with me, but still will lose time.  (Didn't happen)

(1st)  It is an early rise today and we are out the door by 7:30 to run to the estate sale that had the 401a, but, alas, it is sold.  Ya snooze, ya lose and we lost that one.  I knew we were probably going to have regrets on that one.  Drat.  We're now on the way to Temple for Jared's birthday and to deliver his birthday quilt.  On the way down I debone 1 shirt and 1 pair of pajamas - yay! - love the recycled fabrics.  I also finish removing all the dog ears for my bonus Celtic Solstice triangles. ((chauffeur service provided by Mister)) Now to figure out what to do with a gazillion of these things.

We had a great time with family and we were able to watch 2 basketball games before the party (check separate post) It was dark coming back, but Mister was such a sweetie and let me use the interior light to crochet by.  I was able to get about 8 rows on my baby afghan.

(2nd)  Our weather sucks and Mister is not wanting to heat the studio so I am stuck in the house.  I spent most of the day poking tiny holes in my finger tips while hand quilting.  I consider it a success, though, because there are not any blood spots on the fabric.  What a day.  I also baked an apple crisp to take over to a friend's for the evening Super Bowl party.  We had a great time visiting -- pretty sure I didn't watch anything but the commercials and the halftime.

(3rd) A fellow quilter posted in the group today that she was looking for a specific fabric and I had almost purchased the exact same one last week.  I wrote and said I would be happy to go pick some up for her.  Any reason to shop for fabric right?  Added benefit was that I got some for myself as well.  Now I had to learn how to send an invoice with paypal and then ran to the post office to get it off to her.  Some great lessons learned here and I may do this more often when I come across good deals like that one.

The balance of the day was spent at the quilt frame.

(4th) It is nice out again and I am off to the studio -- woohoo. Spent the day working on 9 patches and sashings.  Please refer to last month's blog post to see the start of these.

(5th) Shirt blocks finished and all sections for piano key border made.  International packets arrived with swap blocks for me to forward on.  Mister created a address list so we could just print labels.  Gotta get these gone.

(6th)  It is snowing today and COLD - obviously I will not be back in the studio.  Mister and I made a quick trip out there to grab a machine and enough supplies to keep me going until the weather turns nice again.  We set up a mini studio in the office and I go to work.

Two blocks go together quickly and I have a stack of doubles in no time.  The shirt quarter blocks are started -- and a rapid halt arises as Mister and I discover that I have turned the blocks incorrectly on the first 4.  Mister takes the seam ripper and gets started taking the four mistakes apart while I work on the rest.  Soon we have all the quarter blocks finished and pressed.  It is time to weave a quilt top.

I repeat again and again -- I am such a lucky girl to have him.  Who does this?  Everytime I turn around his helping hands are there to do the chores that most of us hate.  He rips, cuts, presses, and draws lines.  What a blessing.

(7th)  What a good day!  I finish the quilt top and put the piano key borders together.  I "think" I have enough and go ahead and put the ending blocks on them.  We will see when I attach them if it all works right.  My Celtic Solstice units are my leaders/enders for the rows and soon I am getting a stack of completed blocks here as well.  As I near the very end of the last row -- my foot pedal quits working.  Yep -- Mister makes a run out to the studio and returns with another one.  This is a prime example of why it pays to have many machines, lol.

The two Scrappy Mountain Majesty quilts that are next on the list get their squares paired by Mister while I cut and mark March's swap blocks.  I am taking these on the trip to Wyoming with me and will finish them there -- at least that is the plan.

I absolutely have to stay ahead on these.  I have been trying to make a few extras each month and so far it has helped as I have been able to include them with the current block to people who join mid-swap.

The day is not over so I move on to the next task.  I slice the squares into triangle pairs and sew into HST's.  We then make a last minute decision to head to the auction and see if we can get any goodies tonight.  We return empty handed, but had a great time there.

(8th)  All borders are on.  After auditioning several colors for the inner border, we decide on a really bright red.  It works and really makes the inside pop.  Guess what?  Wonder of wonders, the pieced border fits absolutely perfect.  Woohoo!  And the top is finished - yay!

A few more Celtic Solstice blocks get completed and so let the sliver trimming of HST's begin.  Remembering that I want to take my applique quilt top with me to set while in Wyoming, I run to check the pattern and make sure that I have everything.  It turns out that I missed one section of applique and so I spend the remains of the evening getting the blocks ready.  It is supposed to be nice out tomorrow and hopefully I can get into the studio to applique them.

And yet the evening has not ended.  I head out to the frame in the hopes that I can finish the hand quilting and roll this baby.  Success.

(9th) -  Our focus today is on laundry, travel arrangements, packing goodies and my projects, and eating all the perishables.  However, I manage to fit in some sewing as well.

I started early this morning on cutting the HST's into strips to rearrange and sew together the blocks for my two Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilts.  I was able to get all the blocks cuts and all but the blue ones sewn.  Whew.  I made a quick dash out to the studio to applique the scalloped blocks to take with me and then started to put my yarn into balls for traveling.

While doing this, I put 4 rows onto the afghan so that I could cut the yarn.  I think I am ready to go.  I also found all the blocks that are going with me and gathered the necessary supplies for Raef to make a pillow that matches his quilt.  Mister has us all booked with taxis, trains, busses, etc.  Tomorrow morning should be an adventure.  Cross you fingers for us that we make all the connections and don't miss our flight.

(10th) -  Up early stuffing envelopes and Mister is off to the post office.  All scrap blocks are in the mail and now to get packed and out of town.  Obviously not much work at the machine happening today, but I do manage to put 8 rows on the afghan while on our flight.  Yep, yarn in the seat back pocket.

(11th) - Set up a mini studio again.  I am giggling the entire time.  I have hunted down a sewing machine, iron, table and various cutting implements as I could not bring mine on the plane with me.  We never check bags and carry-ons with sharp scissors are a big no no.  After some rough patches in getting to know my daughter's machine, I am off and running.  I do get 2 BOM's finished and a good start on another.  Tomorrow is another day.  Oh --- I also did get some crocheting in while watching a movie with Caleb.  Naturally, he had to help.  He rolls the yard down the length of the table and then sends it quickly back my way.

(12th) -  Made 1 more BOM after devising a cutting method as I do not have a rotary cutter or rulers - crocheted another 8 rows -- down to last seam on swap blocks

(13th) - You know I don't feel well when I don't even want to sew.  Spent most of the day in bed.

(14th) - Finished swap blocks, Started setting applique top --- almost finished -- 2 borders to go.  I have not yet decided if I like this quilt.  At first it simply looked like a tablecloth to me but as more gets added, I am feeling a wee bit better about it.

(15th) - Finished my applique top and I guess it is okay -- will definitely be a gift though as I am not sure it is really me.  I had promised Raef that we would make a pillow to match his quilt and today is the day as I have completed all that I brought with me.  I have brought 4 leftover blocks plus the backing with me so his first task is to sew the 4 blocks together.  He does a really great job and we are soon cutting the backing to fit.

Caleb wants to help and holds the fabric in place with one finger while big brother makes the cuts.  Back to the sewing machine we go to attach the front to back.  Raef has an easier time controlling the speed this go round and soon his speed is quite manageable.

Once that is finished, he turns the pillow and works to get his corners pulled out nice and then starts adding the "fluff" until he has the desired fullness to his pillow.  It takes all that his mom had on the shelf, but fortunately I have also brought a big bag and after grabbing a good couple of handfuls, he has the amount he needs.  Now to hand sew the opening closed and we have a pillow.  Yay!

Since we were not here when Raef received his quilt, he goes and gets it to have a picture taken.  That rapidly turns into a game of "I Spy" and I win after sending them to look for the horses.  Yep --- woohoo for me.

Now for some shots of Raef and his quilt (and pillow).  He loves it so much and my heart is definitely full.

Wrapped in my love -- both ways.

(16th) - Crocheted 10 rows on my afghan.  It is starting to look like something.

(17th) - Nothing worked on

(18th) - travel day -- crocheted 10 rows - I am starting to have hope.

(19th) - Recuperation day -- I did manage to finish the blue blocks for the SMM quilt and several CS blocks. I started on the backing for my shirt quilt.

(20th) -  Back for shirt quilt finished, sandwich made - I love it!

(21st) -  Shirt quilt threads cleaned off and basted.  Mister and I finished the layouts for both SMM quilts and pinned them in stacks to take down to Temple with me tomorrow.  We will be gone 3 days and I need to make sure I have some projects to work on.  Where on earth has this month gone?

I am pretty sure that the goals listed above are not going to be met, but considering we had 8 days in Wyoming with grands and will now have another 3 days in Temple with grands, I am thinking I did pretty good.  We'll see what I can still get finished.

I am loving these quilts though -- now to figure out the borders once I get home.

(22nd) -  Drive to Temple -- I crochet the whole way and manage another 10 rows.  It is Mister's birthday today and the rest of the day is spent visiting and celebrating.  Happy birthday my love.

(23rd) -  It is Sunday and I set up a little sewing area for the early morning and start in on my tops.  We then took all the boys to the zoo for the remainder of the morning and into the afternoon.  Once we are back home, I finish weaving one top and using CS blocks as leaders/enders while Mister makes lunch.  Jacob helps me by working the blocks and trying to not have duplicate fabrics in each one.  He does a great job.  Then it is time for a game or two, dinner, and Downton Abbey.  It has been a fun day -- Meanwhile Bekah has been in her room most of the day practicing the marimba.  It sounds so cool as it vibrates through the house.  I sure hope her audition goes well on Tuesday.

(24th) -  Once the kids are off to school, Mister and I take a little time and head into town for a coffee and some time together.  Once we are back at the house (it is Monday and absolutely not a single antique shop in Belton is open - grrr), I finish both tops and am ready for borders.  Obviously I will go with red and blue for one but am thinking of bright orange/yellow for the other.  We'll see what happens when I get home.

I finish up a few more CS blocks and then clean up my sewing mess.  Once again, I have finished what I brought with me except for the crocheting.  It's time to do Bekah's hair (see separate post).

(25th) - We leave Temple very early in the morning as I have jury duty at 8:30 this morning in Dallas.  Ugh.  I sleep most of the way and arrive just in time.  I settle in and start crocheting away.  I get the rows finished and start on the border when it is announced that I am released and able to go home.  Yay!  Once home, I work non-stop and finish the afghan.  Woohoo -- a UFO completed this month and a gift ready for my granddaughter arriving in June.

(26th) -  Cleaned and organized the studio so that I will be able to start FMQ'ing my shirt quilt tomorrow morning.  Quilt is on the machine and ready to go.  The rest of the day is spent with Mister and doing some cooking for a change.

(27th) - After auditioning stacks of fabric for borders, backings, and bindings on my two SMM quilts, decisions have finally been made.  Next up:  attaching all this.  It is cold out again today (yes, I am very sick of the weather just like half the nation) so will be in the mini studio working on my featherweight.  I will have to FMQ tomorrow instead.

I settle in and start cutting an orange narrow inner border and follow it up with a bright yellow print outer border for one of the tops.  Then for the back, I have selected a large zoo print but it is just slightly too small so I grab some orange to border the panel as I do not wish to cut it.

While I am cutting, Mister gives my "Barbara" a little TLC so that she will go through these large pieces like butter.  (I think he did this to put the clogged sink in the back of his mind for a little while -- it's beating him.)

I start sewing and soon the first top is finished.

The back is completed next:  (not laying very flat for this picture)

Onto the second quilt -- this time we have a red/white/blue theme going on so a bright blue inner border is selected and followed up with a red print for the outer border.

And last I work on it's back.  I have a patriotic cupcake/tent? print that I wish to use, but it is not quite wide enough.  Since I don't want to cut another piece from the yardage and ruin it's chances of helping another quilt in a big way -- I go back to the fabric I used for the outer border and cut a large strip of it.  By splitting the patriotic material down the center, I can now insert the red and voila -- another backing is finished.

During all of this, I am using CS units and making blocks as leaders/enders.  In doing so, I complete my quota of 20 blocks for this month.  Woohoo -- another checkmark.

With only 28 days this month and us being gone over a third of them, I think I bit off more than I could chew.  I only have one day left and absolutely nothing has been quilted yet.  Drat.

(28th)  It is the last day of the month.  At 11:00 it is now 60 degrees out.  Yay!  I am headed to the studio to see how much I can get quilted on my shirt quilt.  Wish me luck.

I get two quadrants quilted and am calling it a day. As you look at these two pictures, please remember that I am a novice and still learning to FMQ.  This is only my 3rd attempt.  I will get better.

 Mister and I are going to a neighborhood wine night and I need to shop for the ingredients with which to make an appetizer.  It's down time for me.  A new month tomorrow with new goals.  Obviously I didn't meet all of mine this month and they will be tacked onto the top of next month.  It was a good month though and so I will not let it get me down.  I was able to accomplish a great deal on my projects AND have such treasured time with my family.  I would not wish it to be otherwise.  See you in March!


  1. You have had a busy, productive month! Love the Mountain Majesties.

  2. Thank you so much Carol. It was definitely a busy month, but I would be lying if I said I didn't like it that way.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly. I have ladies who inspire me and if we all work together, we can make the world just a bit more comfy and beautiful.

  4. Love the shirt quilt. BTW could you tell me how large each single square is? Thanks.

    1. The nine patch is 5" square before the blue sashings are added. It is a free pattern on called Dancing Nine-Patch. Thanks for the compliment and I hope you give the pattern a try.

  5. Love your work and admire how you keep organized.