Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Quilt Update

Previous 2014 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 quilt update
                        March Quilt Update

Goals for April:

Hand quilt tricot for baby, bind, deliver to Cass - yes
3 Tops - Log Cabin (LC) Ryan yes, Dancing Nines (DN) baby  yes, Bekah yes
3 Block Of Month's (BOM's) current - yes
Quilt, bind, finish Scrappy Mountain Majesty (SMM) - Zyra yes (need April), Scrappy Trips (ST) - Malea yes (need May), Bricks and Stepping Stones (BSS) - Elena yes (need May)
Celtic Solstice (CS) - 20 blocks - yes
Roll Quilt - not happening this month -- I spent too much time hand stitching the other two quilts.
Swap Blocks yes
UFO -- work on blue afghan yes and finished it

SMM, CS, ST, DN, and BSS - all are Bonnie Hunter patterns and are available free on her website at 

1st - It is April Fools and I am not playing any tricks.  What's up with that?  I do decide to start the month off right though.  There is a possibility that my daughter will be here on Thursday and I would like to give her this quilt to take back to Utah with her.  Can I do it?  Let's find out.  Mister helps me set the frame up in the den and with a movie on the laptop, I set to work.  I quilted for about 6 hours (yep, 3 movies) to get to this point.  I also prepared the swap mailings and put the international ones in the mail.  I still need a few more envelopes to finish my 2 1/2" square swap.

2nd - I started out the day back in the den hoping to finish this quilt today.  I am thinking there is a good chance that I can make this goal.

Movies are back in the lap top and I get all the way around the edge before asking Mister to help me roll the quilt.  I put another movie in and soon the center is finished as well.  It has taken me the whole day and another 3 movies, but my quilt is off the frame.  I just have the edge left to do.  I finish the mailings from yesterday and make a pattern from the burp cloth I did last month so that I have one for future projects.  Good day!

3rd - I start out the morning out in the studio and boy is it nice to be back out here again.  The birds are singing and I am quietly cutting the squares for my May swap blocks.  I also filled bobbins so that I can start quilting my SMM quilt before Mister wakes and comes looking for me.  I go back into the house with him and settle in to pin and bind the tricot quilt.  I don't do anything fancy on these, just turn the ends in and hand-stitch it down.  These quilts get carried everywhere and drug around until they are just plumb wore out.  I don't fret about a fancy binding.  It takes me about 2 1/2 hours, but I can call it finished and just in time as Cass arrives tonight.  Yay!

4th - A nice early morning sitting quietly in the living room and crocheting before the madness all starts.  I get a couple of rows completed before everyone else is up and moving around.  I decide to make a run to the fabric store and grab some material to make the curtain for the baby cradle so that Cassie can take that with her as well.   This project goes together well and is soon finished.  Awesome.  The kids don't get back to the house until around 8 and after dinner, Mister helps Scott and Cass load their truck until 3 in the morning while I deal with my hip and try to take it easy for the evening.  Ugh.

5th - Another quiet early morning in the living room with my hook.  Cass and Scott make a sudden change in plans and we are all soon out the door and off to the airport.  Mister and I spend the rest of the morning/afternoon down at the Deep Ellum Art Festival and once back home I seriously do not do anything the rest of the day.

6th - Today we are off to Temple for a birthday party and to deliver a quilt for our grandson.  I crochet on the way down and we have such a nice time with the kids and also a nice visit with Louis and Jen.  The highlight for me is giving Jon his quilt.  Love the smile!

7th - I do a small amount of early morning crocheting then pick out the fat quarters that I still need for 2 quilts this month.  Everything is ordered and I win a couple of ebay bids as well.  NOW, I am excited to start on these two.  It's good too, because motivation is certainly an issue for me right now.

8th - I am worthless!  I don't feel well and cannot find the energy to do a dang thing.  I show Mister the design I want to do for Bekah's quilt and he sets to work helping me make a cutting/sewing list.  I think it is going to be very cool.

9th - We woke early this morning for a drive down to see the bluebonnets in Ennis.  What a great morning and it inspired me enough so that when we return home, I go straight to the studio and finish quilting two quadrants on SMM before going inside to sew.  I work on BOM's and finish 11 CS blocks.  Not too bad for today.  I certainly feel much better about the world.

10th - Straight out to the studio today and finish quilting SMM, trim it, cut and make the binding, and attach the label and binding.  While I am working out here, I notice that Mister is working on sharpening blades in the driveway.  I have to stop and take a picture since he looks so good in the light.  Yep, sure love that man.

So much fun in this quilt!

I finish BOM's and get all the scrap blocks marked and ready to make HST's. Where is this month going?

Last, but not least and perhaps the most important, we get the BSS quilt basted and onto the machine.  Moving on to May quilts - woohoo.

11th - Another early rise for me.  I do love binding in the quiet morning hours.  Listening to the birds is just music for my soul.  I also work on this blog a little (selecting pictures for Mister to develop) and we head to the Arboretum for an early morning walk when Mister wakes.  Oh the beauty of it.  I think my love of color in nature replicates itself in my love of color on fabric.

Back at home, I take a peek at estate sales listed for today and since there is one close by, we decide to run real quick and check it out.  It turns out to be a bust, BUT Mister stops for gas and right next door is the thrift store that I hit the bonanza at last month.  Perhaps I'll check it out again.  While he fills the car, I peek in the store.  Let me remind you of the story here and give an update of the situation.  This particular shop had gotten 65 boxes of fabric from a man when his wife passed away.  They tried selling it at an all or nothing for $1200 and I laughed.  A couple of weeks later, they lowered the price to $900.00 and I laughed again.  Then, another two weeks pass and I get a Facebook message stating that they would now be selling them for $15.00 per box/tote but you could not move fabrics around in the boxes - take it as it is.  Mister and I went and worked our way through (see last month's post) until we had selected 2 boxes.  Today, the price is still $15.00 per box but you can go through and select what you want and create your own boxes.  It is a MESS.  I start looking and see a few promising items so I start going through each and every piece and moving it to a new clean box, thus cleaning the area.  Mister shows up and I let him know I will be awhile.  Being the good sport that he is, he looks around the store for awhile and then takes my phone to the car to sit and wait.  The clerk comes by with a couple of empty boxes and tells me that since I had been so nice the last time and left it so clean, I could have full boxes/totes for $1.00 each.  Really?  Oh goodness.  Now I really set to work.  When I leave with my 4 boxes/totes, the area is clean and organized again.  I made my way through about 30 of the boxes and there are still another 20 or so in another part of the store.  I figure Mister has waited long enough already.  It has been over an hour since I started searching.

When Mister comes in to pay my whopping $4 and load the boxes, he asks if we should just go over to the laundromat and wash it quickly so that we don't spend days doing so at home.  I agree and although it adds about $15.00 to my expense, the yardage is clean and folded when we arrive back home.  FIVE hours later than when we left.  Wow.

Now -- here is what we brought home:

The first picture shows how deep the tote is - 18" and there are two of them, one being larger than the other.  These are full of scraps.  I had filled one GIANT box full of small pieces and it took an entire extra-large washing machine to get them clean.  They are now fluffy, clean, and wrinkled.  Lots of work to do but I will do it a small amount at a time whenever I am at the cutting table.

This next picture shows all of the orphan blocks that are mixed in as well.

There are also a few WIP's.  Not sure just what I will do with these yet, but will find a purpose for them.

Ah, the bulk of the treasure trove.  The piece on the bottom of the center stack is a full bolt!  That is worth my $19.00 alone.  The black ant fabric is almost as much.  I truly am set for a long time.

However, the part of all this that touches me the most are these ziploc baggies that were in the boxes too.  I didn't open these at the laundromat, but once home, I spread them out on the coffee table.  Oh, my.  Tears come to my eyes as I look at all the work here.  The pastels are just cut a bit - not much there.  The bright green/white four-patches are all hand-stitched and there are many still to do - all marked.  But wait, there are 132 4 1/2" blocks that just tear at my heart.  What to do, what to do with them.  I will honor this lady and do something for sure.  Mister thinks we should just sash them and randomly place them for a top.  Will most likely take that route.

12th - Another quiet early morning with the song of the birds and me quietly binding away.  I finish the hand-stitching, work all the threads in, and call it finished.  Just in time since it needs to be mailed on Monday.  Whew.  I spend the afternoon putting my treasure from yesterday away.  Oh my, but there is a lot of it.  My totes in the studio are full.  I tell Mister that he can't let me buy any more fabric, only batting and thread.  He asks me to repeat that one more time for him and I say, "Please don't let me buy very much fabric."  We both laugh and move on.

13th - The Songkran Festival is today and we are off to enjoy a cultural moment.  Our day there ends with fabric.  I know -- amazing, huh?

Once back at home, I start the HST's for swaps and do a little crocheting.

14th - I start out the morning with some crocheting while Mister got the two April birthday quilts ready to mail.  I did the labels and he packed them up and took them to the post office.  Whew -- another two delivered.

I also finished the swap blocks and then started in on the CS blocks.  My goal was to have 20 finished this month and I am at 11.  I get another 12 finished while waiting for the lunar eclipse.    We are almost halfway through this month and I am still waiting on fabric that I ordered to cut for Ryan's and Bekah's quilts.  Gack.  I am starting to get a little worried about meeting the goals.

Tomorrow, I definitely need to quilt on the BSS project.

15th - I am going to quilt. I am going to quilt.  I am going to quilt.  If I say it enough times I might head out to the studio and actually do it.  Okay -- I'm off.

I finish 2 quadrants on the BSS (yay) before returning to the house and putting together the last 6 CS blocks that I had laid out last night.  It takes forever to select the fabrics for them (especially with my diminishing units) and I don't want the pieces getting scattered.  I know have 29 so far this month.  I may get these puppies finished before retreat.  Fingers crossed.

16th - My first stop this morning is the studio.  Yes!  I finish quilting BSS, trim the edges, make the pink/purple binding, and sew it on.  Only then do I remember the label.  Dang -- grab the seam ripper and take off a corner.  Put the label and and sew it back together.  OMG!  Now I have sewn the label onto the front of the quilt.  Out comes the ripper again and once the corner is apart and pinned on, I take a final look.  What is wrong with me?  I have pinned it to the front AGAIN.  Undo the pins and finally it is right.  Goodness.  I sew it on and haul the quilt into the house for hand-stitching and burying threads.  I am not ready to work on it yet though, so back to the studio for some cutting.  I am doing two baby blankets from minky and using the DN pattern as a guide.  I am thrilled to get all the squares and sashings cut.  Time to go back in and see what Mister is up to.  He is working on the ST quilt.  It is time to sandwich and baste it.  I am always, always happy to have his help.

17th - It is another studio day and I quilt the entire ST top, trim edges, make binding, and sew it on (without any label issues this time). As I near the very end of it, Mister arrives with camera in hand and starts making a video of me.  Great (said with heavy sarcasm).  He then sits down to clean and work on my 301 since she is getting a short rest.  While he does this, I stay and keep him company by working the threads into the ST quilt on my lap and cutting more labels.  Once he finishes, we go back into the house and I start hand-stitching the binding on BSS.  My heart is not really in this right now though, so I head off to the office to tackle the pile of scraps left from trimming the backing/batting on the last three quilts.  I manage it and into the scrap users system it goes.  While I am finishing that up, Mister fine tunes the video.  Okay -- it's kinda fun so I post it for a few people to see.

18th - Today we are off to help Jason with some medication and once we have him settled in, we make a trip down to Jimmy's for some pasta restocking.  Also meatballs, sausage, ingredients for sauces, and a couple bottles of wine.  We are set.  Next stop:  Calais to pick up our wine club bottles and have a nice visit with Benjamin.  I get a little more binding finished, but not much sewing today.

19th - I am planted in a chair in the living room today and have NPR on.  It is a nice morning and I just sit and bind both the BSS and ST quilts.  All the threads are buried and I can call these finished.  Yes!  

I LOVE sitting and listening to the weekend shows on NPR -- it is fun to try and play the challenges along with the contestants and I absolutely adore Way With Words.  Do you listen?

I am so very pleased with the way they each turned out.  Now all I need is for the girls to like them as well.  They will go off in the mail this next week and I so wish I could give them in person.  I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record.

With the two quilts finished, I am ready to move on.  It is time to start the next three tops.  Since I cut two sets of materials from the minky, I am going to make a second baby quilt for a neighbor and since she doesn't want to know the sex of the baby ahead of time. I can use some of my yellow on her quilt.  Well, I've added another quilt to my list this month by doing this so I really need to move now.

I settle into the office and soon all the blocks for both quilts are put together.  My little featherweight is DIRTY after making these though so Mister gives her a cleaning.  I am also finding that I go through needles quickly with this fabric BUT I have no problems sewing it and had heard horror stories from others.  I am so glad it is working out.

20th - Happy Easter!  First thing this morning I find Mister in the living room laying out the blocks I finished last night.  We finish both quilt layouts and pin and stack the blocks for weaving.  One is yellow centered and the other is pink.

It is now time to go meet Mister's Mom for brunch and spend a little time together.  We have a nice visit and deliver some plants for her balcony which Mister gets into a pot right away.  He checks a few other things for her and then we are on our way back home again.

I spend the rest of the day putting one DN top together.  The colors are so perfect for today --- definitely happy Easter pastels.  I am loving this top.  While weaving and doing the rows on it -- I finish another 6 CS blocks -- that makes 35 this month.  Yes!

The first top is ready for a border.

21st - I woke early and am settled in with windows and doors open listening to the birds as I crochet.  I am at the point of starting the edging.  Woohoo.  I never expected to get this far on my UFO during April, but I "may" just finish it.  That would be cool.  Once Mister is up, I head to the office to start cutting LC blocks for the next quilt.  All of my fabric has arrived and I am ready to have some fun.  Once all my strips and center squares are cut it is time to make blocks.  Let's go.  In what seems like mere minutes, I have all my blocks finished as well as a few tiny pinwheels make from the bindings of previous projects this year.-- cut and made LC quilt blocks

22nd - Another beautiful morning crocheting while listening to birds sing.  I get a little further on the edging and am loving it.  It is time to piece the LC top that I started yesterday.  Let's go.  Mister and I get the layout finished, have some breakfast, and I head for the featherweight in the office.  I love LC patterns as they just go together so easily and look amazing.  I have not put one together in over 20 years though and so it is definitely not an overused pattern for me. Onto borders - after Mister and I audition several fabrics, we settle on three - two for borders and one for binding.  Now to determine the order for them.  It takes awhile, but we think we have it and I start cutting and putting the borders and binding together.  Let's attach the borders and see what we get.  What do you think?  It certainly is bright, but the fabrics are just oh so fun.

We decide to use the camo back and so I piece together two colors of it and soon Mister and I are sandwiching and basting this baby.  Two days -- wow.

I am not ready to quilt on it quite yet as my eyes need a break from all that bright yellow.  Let's move to a softer yellow and put a border on the DN baby quilt.  I add a few leftover squares down in the corners and call it good.  Now for a back.  In the flannel bin are these bright polka dot pieces in the same color families as the quilt -- how about a giant four-patch from them?  I like it.

After piecing a batting, I am left with the decision on whether to hand quilt this or not.  What do you think I should do?

23rd - My day starts in a routine that I am coming to love.  While listening to the birds, another two rows go onto the edging of my afghan.  Mister comes over with tea and a crossword.  TWO hours later, we have it finished and decide to take a walk down to the thrift store and check to see if anyone worked over the remaining boxes and perhaps pick up a shirt or two.  We strike out on both of those but find a great little Hispanic grocery store and visit with neighbors on the way home. What a nice morning/afternoon.  It is 4 by the time we get back home and still need to pack up two quilts to mail.  Soon, tissue paper, boxes and tape are everywhere.  The post office closes at 5 and we make it with only a few minutes to spare.

QuiltCam is tonight and i cut all the red/black/grey/white strips for the next quilt while watching.  I KNOW I am going to love this one.

24th - After crocheting for awhile and tea with my sweetie, I am off to the studio to piece some batting for the baby quilt.  While working on it, Mister comes out to put fabric strips on my portable quilt boards.  We hunt all over for some canvas that was left from the main frame but apparently I have put it away well.  We find some heavy muslin and cut it into 4 long strips.  I then narrow hem the two strips without selvages, finish the batting, and leave Mister to do his thing.  The stack of minky blocks remaining on my table are calling to me.  It is time to weave the quilt for my new granddaughter who is arriving in June.  It goes together quick and I lay it out in the living room about the same time Mister arrives with the boards ready.  We get the quilt sandwiched, trimmed, and pinned onto the frame.  It is now around 3 and I settle in for a long hand-stitching session.  Around 7 I take a break and ask Mister if he wants to go for a walk around the neighborhood.  We deliver the glasses for the event tomorrow night and stop for a nice visit with a neighbor then back to the quilt for me.  I stop around 11:30 and have about 1/3 done.

25th - I wake early and settle in to the quilt around  7:30.  Somehow I have convinced myself that I can get this done today and deliver it tonight.  I keep at it until 4:30 with only a few breaks to use the restroom and have a quick bite to eat.  Whew -- it is off the frame.  After snapping a couple of quick pictures, I am off and running to the studio.  I know I want a white binding, grab the first small print flannel that I have, start cutting, and within 1/2 hour have my binding made.  Now to sew it on.  Mister comes out all dressed as I am working on it.  We had planned to go to the Arboretum before the neighborhood event but he sees what I am doing and suggests that we go tomorrow morning instead.  Okay -- I have more time still.  He helps me get the binding on (I remember the label -- awesome) and I almost run for the sofa to start hand-stitching the binding down.  I give it a very valiant effort but fall short and am about 1/2 an hour away from finishing and we are already late.  It is 7:30 (event started at 7) when I admit defeat and quickly dress to go have some fun with my sweetie.  Oh well.

26th - Since I blew it last night, we are up early and heading to the local farmer's market and then the arboretum.  The market is just getting started and the greens look wonderful.  From there it is just a short drive to the arboretum and we have time to walk around before the art festival is is hosting opens.  Once we wander through the art booths, it is time to head home again.  I am planning on meeting up with some ladies from Facebook and an hour later am on my way to the meet and greet with the quilt ladies - see separate post.  My treasure for the day are a couple pieces of fabric in blue and white for Bob's graduation quilt.  We are still in the fabric selection stage on that one.  After a very full morning/afternoon, I return home and settle in to finish binding the quilt.  Call another one "finished".  I am calling it Pastel Pleasure- I think.  I finished the day by crocheting a bit more on my edging.  I am onto the last row.  The end is in sight.

27th - I start my day crocheting, then have tea and visit with Mister and move into the living room to listen to NPR while I finish another side of the afghan.  Time flies as I listen to shows and before I know it, my blanket is finished.  Woohoo.

Now, while I was hand quilting the previous baby quilt item, I noticed that the pattern is not perfect.  It was a little too late to fix it, but I passed the information on to Mister.  He then took apart my weave (not the individual blocks, just the columns) and was able to rearrange them correctly (how lucky is that?) without any resewing.  What a saint.  I start sewing the rows together and it works beautifully.  Now for borders.  Let's get creative, shall we?  I grab all the leftover strips of minky, a few squares that were left and that same white flannel that I used for binding in the other one.  My minky strips were not wide enough for my leftover squares, so I sewed the flannel and minky together to make my border strips, then attached the combined unit, adding the squares as I did the top border.  It's different, but I like it and it works.

28th - Oh my -- last three days of this month.  I am going to have to admit defeat on rolling the quilt.  I am not going to feel bad though as I have already hand-stitched two items and will have another on the frame before the month ends.  So be it.  I spend the early morning hours working on this post and once Mister is awake I start making the blocks for my red/white/black/gray quilt.  I am working from a chart that Mister spent hours producing for me in trying to re-design this quilt from a picture we saw once - hopefully it will come together.  I get all the blocks finished and another 6 CS blocks along the way.  I am at 41 completed for this month now.  Woot woot!  OH -- by the way --- I LOVE the new quilt top.  Check out the layout.  Very cool.

29th -  Once again, I spend my early morning getting this post ready as Mister has completed developing all the pictures.  Once he is awake, I start in on the back for the baby quilt.  I start by piecing a batting and then a backing.  I add a center stripe of a minky-type fabric to the pink/white flannel that I have for the back.  Trouble is:  I add the third strip wrong and make a loud grrrr.  Mister comes to my rescue and takes it away to rip for me.  Dang, I love that man.

While he is ripping, I get all my swap blocks ready for mailing and decide to send extra months as we are coming to an end of the swap and I happen to have extra blocks that I can use for June.  Once my envelopes are ready to go I take the pieces Mister took apart and rejoin them.  This time I do it right and I have a back.  Now - back to the living room to sandwich and attach to the frame.  We are ready to go on this one -- I hope my fingers are healed and ready for another week of needle pricks.

As soon as I have this on the frame, I head for the office and start the weave with the black/red/gray/white quilt.  I really need to come up with a name for this one.  What do you think?  It's coming along nice.  Tomorrow:  rows and then borders.  Hopefully I can get the backing finished as well.  I am being optimistic tonight.  Right now it is time to go shower and get changed.  We are off to see Sherlock Holmes at the Dallas Theater Center.  Date night -- ciao baby.

30th -  I slept in a little today, but definitely have finishing Bekah's quilt top as a high priority today.  After a nice morning with Mister spent with a walk to the coffee shop, I set in to quickly put the rows together and add borders.  With The Andy Griffith show playing on Netflix, the task is soon accomplished.  And as I am asking about which red to use on the border, Mister notices that the quilt is pretty small and suggests that we add on to it.  Although I am not excited about it by any means, we start in with the graph paper and 4 hours later we have 16 additional blocks made and attached.  UGH.  Here is the new layout before I started sewing the new blocks on.

Now --- onto borders.  We finally settle on a red and I get started.  I also grab the stack of 3 1/2" strips that are left from the center squares and piece them together end to end regardless of length.  This will be my outer border.

Once that is accomplished, I lay it all out on the living room floor.  Drat -- I don't think it is large enough yet -- now what to do.

I go back out to the studio and start hunting for a black on black -- perhaps a 3rd border will work since the second one was pieced.  I find a piece that just might be big enough.  Oh I certainly hope so.  Once I have it attached, I have about 15 inches left and let a huge sigh escape.  That was close.

This quilt really needs some time with the iron, but I am beat and calling it a night.  Throughout the day I also finished another 8 CS blocks -- bringing my total for April to 49 and I have one on the machine as my ender.  Pretty dang close to 50 this month.  YES!

Another month has come to a close and I am content.  So many new experiences and lessons that I have been able to add to my life.  Each day is a treat for me and my heart is full with the gifts I have made for my grands.  Fortunately for me, they don't read this, lol.  Seriously, who other than another quilter would?

Oh WOW --- I just opened my email and my son sent a video of Zyra with her quilt for me to see.  Mister has just finished working on it (you would have died laughing as it was upside down and in two parts that repeated, lol) so I am adding this now.  I hope it melts your heart that way it did mine.

Thanks for spending time with me and if you stuck with it until now -- I AM IMPRESSED.  See you again next month and until then:  keep on creating.

Love ya all, Lady


  1. Babe! I love your quilts and your daily log of progress. Cool.

    1. Love ya Lisa --- and thanks for all your support.

  2. Thanks so much for your inspiration every month!! I'm amazed at how much you can accomplish and wish I had a DH so willing to support. I hope you don't mind I've "borrowed" your beautiful azalea photo for my background for a few weeks -- It's taking SO LONG for things to start growing in northern Ohio this year. so far only daffodils - but the trees are finally starting now.

    1. You are most welcome. If I can help to inspire someone else doing simply what inspires me -- well that makes it icing on the cake. I am indeed most fortunate for Mister's help and thank him daily for it. Oh please do enjoy the azaleas -- did you check the link to the others? Perhaps there is one there that you will like better. Mister is a great photographer. Our daughter used to live in Cleveland so we understand what you are going through BUT we also have leaf envy each fall. Have a great day.

  3. I came over from Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook and am just flabbergasted at how much you accomplish! Loved reading through your synopsis for the month of April and enjoyed seeing your wonderful quilts. The recipients of them are truly blessed!

  4. Wow Lady!! You were a busy Mister and Lady for April. I read it all and had my heart melted at the end by Zyra. Looking forward to retreating with you soon!! Hugs, Allison in Plano

    1. Thanks so much Allison. I am so excited for this weekend that I am about to burst. I am trying to get things ready for it and have several items at various stages to mix things up a bit. I finally finished ALL the CS blocks and have 125 of the buggers to play with and make a top while at retreat. See you there.