Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 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
                         April Quilt Update

Quilt Retreat:

Bind Ryan's Log Cabin (LC) yes, Bind Bekah's Stacked Squares (SS) yes, CS blocks put together into a top yes X2, borders nope - still need fabric for neutral inner border and don't have the pieced border assembled yet , Finish Bargello top nope = didn't even get to take it out, Bobs Rectangle Squared (RS) yes, top/back/binding

Home:  I have girls for a week in addition to my retreat so need to be wise in my goals this month.

Roll Quilt - Nope
CS blocks - Finish before retreat yes
UFO - Tea Towels - 1 finished
Quilt and attach binding Ryans LC yes, Bekahs (SS) yes
Hand quilt baby Ashton's  Dancing Nines (DN)- yes
Quilt and bind Bob's RS yes
BOM blocks yes
Mark Applique quilt for quilting - nope

1st - It is a new month AND it is my birthday month.  Yay me.  It is also the last high pressure month, I hope.  I have a few deadlines this month and then perhaps things will slow down a bit.  One can hope anyway.  After tea with my sweetie, I set about cleaning up the office from the previous quilts.  All the scraps from the black/white/red/grey quilt are cut as well as starting on the prints from squaring off last month's thrift store binge and put into the system.  I then look at the stack of minky I have leftover and my brain takes over and moves into play mode.  Apparently I am not feeling the pressure today.  I have a few blocks leftover and I put those together into a large square.  There are still scraps left so I set to piecing them into 4 1/2" blocks and then into another large square.  Now I have two and no idea what to do with them.  I use CS blocks as leaders and enders and add another 6 to my stack.   It hasn't been an overly productive day, but I have certainly had fun.  Quilt Guild night.  Played with minky leftovers from baby quilts.  I know -- I have work to do but checked out for awhile.  AND I had fun, so there.

Once I have finished, I look at the time and make a last minute decision to attend the guild meeting tonight.  The presenter is Pat Yamin and I am so glad that I decided to come.  She is so funny and touches my heart as she is a scrap quilter, only uses templates.  Several of her quilts appeal to me and I have an idea for a gift for our friend Benjamin as he opens his new winery.  Can you see what I like?  The back is a panel and the front uses a bottle template.  Oh the ideas are flowing now.

She also has a Storm at Sea quilt that I love and think I can make using rulers instead of templates.  Perhaps I will give it a try.

2nd - Do some cutting on scraps -- otherwise I am worthless today and have such a long list to do in the next week.  Gotta get my act together.

3rd - I get a good start in the morning and finish the light and dark printed scraps from tote in office.    Why am I not doing more?  Apparently I am not feeling the stress.  I spend the day garage and estate sale hopping with Mister.  He finds a light and clock for the studio and a new shelf for my desk before we call it a day.

Once home, I remember the deadlines and get Bekah's quilt sandwiched.  Next, I tackle the remaining 24 CS blocks.  My stack is now quite tall -- about halfway up the iron.  I have a total of 123 and am hopeful that that is enough.  I get the binding made for Bekah's quilt --- do you  not just love the blah, blah, blah?  What a hoot.

My studio gets a quick cleaning and I put the LC quilt up on Annie and hope to start in on it tomorrow morning.  I end the day cutting strips for the RS blocks.  Finally, I have had a productive day and not too soon either.  Come on girl --- keep it up.

4th - Happy Birthday to me!  We start the morning with breakfast at Cossroads before heading to the Cottonwood Art Festival.  I LOVE this festival and it is probably my favorite one.  This is the first year that we have been in Dallas on my birthday in several years so we have missed this spring sale and have only been able to attend the one in the fall.  As usual, I fall in love with several items which you can see on my birthday post and truly enjoy the time there.  I am treated to a Bubble Tea before heading home to get some work done.  Once I have all the bobbins filled, I start quilting on the LC while Mister installs my new light, fixes the studio toilet, and hangs the new clock.  Great additions to the studio for sure.  I get one quadrant finished and then we go shower and dress to meet Jen for dinner Si Tapas.  What a great birthday!

5th - I am back on schedule finally.  Whew, I was getting worried there for awhile.  It's an early morning out in the studio and I finish quilting the LC.  Without losing a step, I baste Bekah's and put it on the machine.  One quadrant is finished and I really need to start thinking about packing for the retreat so I take a break and do just that.

When I go into the house, I discover that Mister has cleaned my desk area and put in the new shelf.  Wow, what a difference that makes.  The birthday season continues.

I measure the fabric that I have for the sashing on the RS quilt and know that it is not enough.  Well, I tell Mister and soon we are on our way down to Perth Street to grab an additional yard or two.  I find the material I need, get it cut, and am heading to the counter when I hear Mister call.  He has located a bin of $1.00 a yard bolts.  One is PERFECT for the CS quilt back and I am soon getting another 10 yards cut.  What a great sweetie I have.  From there, we make a quick stop next door and are also able to pick up the green I need for the borders on it for $2.00 a yard.  Now, this has been a good visit.

The evening is spent getting all the blocks and sashing strips cut for the RS quilt.  I am definitely going to like this one.

6th  -  I get a good start again this morning and finished Bekah quilt.  Seriously Deb --- I really need to find out what the name of this block is in order to stop referring to it as simply Bekah's quilt.  I start binding the LC quilt and discover that I am short BY A LOT.  How on earth did that happen?  I search my bin of leftover fabric from that quilt and am out of luck.  Now what?  Let the frenzy begin.  I start looking up where I bought it and discover that it was the Missouri Star Quilt Company and that is the one that took 2 weeks to arrive.  Well, I certainly don't have that much time.  I go to the manufacturer's site and discover that there is a quilt shop in San Antonio that carries it.  I call them and reach the owner who is not at the shop but does have the fabric and will call me back in a half an hour and yes, she would be happy to ship it to me ASAP.  While I am waiting for her to call back, I remember the dang scrap system and go check my strips.  I need 2 1/2" ones and nope -- not one in the box.  Next I check the 3 1/2" box and guess what?  You got it --- I find enough.  I quickly make binding out of all that I find and attach it to the strip on the quilt.  I finish sewing it on and am left with a piece about 3 inches long.  Oh my.  A quick text to the store owner thanking her for being so willing to help but that I have solved the problem.  Wow -- time to stop clenching my teeth.  I move on to the the binding for Bekah's quilt and soon that is on as well --- and AGAIN, I have about 3" left and NO MORE in the tubs.  Oh my -- what a day.  I am done.  I go search for Mister to take an evening walk with me and we return home to check out the blackberry blossoms/berries in the backyard.  As we turn to go into the house Mister spots FIREFLIES.  Oh how I love those and to top everything else off -- we have baby squirrels running everywhere.  What a beautiful evening.

7th - I get Mister up early and we are off to the Arboretum for an early morning walk.  I have hopes that the Magnolia trees are blooming, but I know that the rose garden is in full bloom and want to see that as well.  We have a great morning and are blessed with some beautiful pictures (see link).

The rest of the day is spent preparing for the retreat.  I focus on getting everything packed while Mister lovingly cleans my machines and makes sure my car is roadworthy.  I do not want to even imagine my life without him.  I am surprised in the evening with beautiful roses from Jen and decide to just put them in the fridge over night and pack them up to take along to the retreat so that I can enjoy them.  It dawns on me that I have not prepared a "swap" for the retreat and so decide to give spool doilies a try.  I have never made these and do not even know what a "magic circle" is.  Thank goodness for youtube as I have a quick lesson and am soon off and running.  By midnight I have 12 little doilies to dress up everyone's machines.  All I need to do is work in the threads and will do that when I arrive tomorrow.  I need to go to sleep as I am beat.  Mister is shaking his head at me -- he just doesn't understand some things -- ha ha ha ha.

8th - I wake early and am soon ready to depart.  Mister loaded my car last night without me knowing so I am on my way to Rainbow, Texas a little before 8 a.m.  Within moments of leaving home, the rain starts and I spend the next two hours in a literal downpour.  Fortunately, when I arrive at around 10 the rain has stopped and I am able to unload my car and get set up.  One would think I was moving here with all the things I have brought.  Please check the separate post on this retreat for great pictures and fun stories.  Here is the link.  I am the third person to arrive and within 1/2 hour, we are only short 3 ladies, one of which is Jen who is arriving in the evening.  I start cutting more rectangles and squares from the scraps I grabbed at the last minute to add to what I had already cut for the RS quilt.  I put 93 blocks together for it.  I am ready to lay it out tomorrow morning.  Spent the remainder of the evening binding Ryan's quilt.  Woohoo it is finished.

9th - Today I am going to make the top to RS and the back and the binding.  Do you think I can do it?  Jen helps me with the layout and soon I am happy with it.  The next step is to add sashing to the left side of each block and also the right side of the last block in each row.

Once that is accomplished, I start joining the blocks into rows and attach the rows to each other with a row of sashing in between.  I am meticulous about ironing  and am so in love with how it is turning out.  Once I have the top together and am thinking about borders, Janet makes the suggestion that I don't add any more and simply bind with a dark blue.  Since I will not be gaining anymore length from borders, I decide to add another row of blocks from the leftover 13 that I have.  It works and I am now happy with the top.  (yes, there is a mistake in the lower left corner that needs to be fixed)

It is 11 p.m., but I am not calling it quits yet.  I start working with the leftover blocks and soon have a back made.  This picture is terrible, but I am getting tired and crawling on the floor to smooth it out is just not on my agenda right now.  Finally, I quickly cut the binding and get it all made.  This quilt is now ready for sandwiching and quilting when I get back home.  Whew ---- I am beat and heading for bed.  As with yesterday, most of the fun details of today are in the separate post.

10th - I am getting to work on my CS so the first thing I do is lay out the blocks and decide to make two queen size quilts instead of a king.  I hope I have enough blocks.  The first one is laid out and stacked into rows to start weaving.  I lay out the second and discover that I am two 54-40 blocks short.  Not a problem, I will make those when I get home as I don't have anymore four-patches left.  I stack this one in rows as well and decide I will sew it all except the last row.

I get both weaves made and the rows started when I realize that I need to stop and finish Bekah's quilt.  I have now discovered that this pattern is called Stacked Squares.  I think it is a Moda design but am still not sure on that part.  Since we worked from a picture we had seen, I would be glad to be able to credit the right person.  At any rate -- at last I have a name for it instead of "Bekah's quilt."  I decide to continue working on my CS quilt for awhile and finish the first one -- well the word finish is relative as it still needs borders, but the blocks are all together.  It is late -- and that is meant with sincerity as I think it is around 1 in the morning -- but Deb and Lou Jean are still up so I take over my old blocks from the thrift store to pick their brains for ideas.  We come up with some good ones and I am excited to get started on it when I have time.  Finally, off to bed around 2 a.m.

11th - Happy Mother's Day.  It is the last day of the retreat and I am sad.  I am also not feeling well so am moving very slow.  This dang stomach of mine.  Once the medicine kicks in, I get everything packed up except Annie and the second CS top.  I have a little time left before I need to leave so I settle in and finish the second top except for the last row and it is time to head back home.  Drat.  At least it is not raining during my drive BUT I am busy talking on the phone and somehow miss my turn or turn early and wind up near Fort Worth.  Oops.  Time to turn on the GPS and find my way home.  When I arrive, Mister and i get to relax and visit about our separate weekend before going to dinner with Mom H.  No more sewing for today -- I am beat and ready for some sleep.

12th -  WORTHLESS!  I cannot express how little I get done today.  Other than some typing on this blog --- absolutely nothing.

13th -  I got ambitious today and decided to unpack and put everything away.  As I was taking my tote to the studio, I fell and trashed my leg again.  Seriously Deb -- get it together.  That pretty much put an end to getting anything accomplished so I sat and worked on the blog.  Ugh.

14th -   Mister and I put the sandwich together on the RS quilt and decide that we are going to spray baste it in addition to pinning as we really don't want any movement on this one and the back doesn't really want to lay perfectly flat.  We get it all glued and after crawling around smoothing it to perfection - ya right - we let it sit for awhile before moving it around to pin.  It is gorgeous outside and I need pictures of the two quilts I finished at retreat so Mister grabs his camera and out we go.  I am pretty sure the neighbors are starting to wonder about us as we are constantly holding up quilts in the sunshine.  I love how they both turned out though -- magnificent!

I take a few minutes to fill out the label before packing Ryan's quilt as I prepare for my trip to Wyoming.  Mister gets the pinning finished on the RS quilt.  Yay him!

15th - Today is a travel day.

16th - I am watching Caleb this morning for Amanda and the girls have gone to preschool.  While with Caleb, I get a chance to photograph him with is quilt that I sent for his birthday.  We then play "I Spy" with it for awhile before walking to the coffee shop.

After lunch, it is time to pick up the girls and spend the rest of the day together.  Malea heads for a nap Elena and I sit down for some quiet.  She wants to learn how to do something as I have taken out my embroidery.  Lucky for her, I also brought some crochet thread along so we practice finger chaining.  She does very well and ends up with a bracelet to wear.  She is so excited about it.  I get one towel finished.  When Malea wakes, we are off to Amanda's for birthday time.

It is Ryan's birthday today and he receives his quilt from me.  He is truly all smiles about it which is awesome since he has a broken jaw.  Amanda said that he was feeling a bit left out since Raef and Caleb both had quilts and he didn't.  Score one for me.  I truly wish that I had been able to give all quilts in person this year --- I love seeing these smiles and little faces light up.

After the party it is time for me to take the girls back home and get them bathed and to bed.  After Malea is in bed, Elena and I take a few minutes to get pictures of her with her quilt that she got for her birthday earlier in the month.  I am so glad I am getting this opportunity for these pictures.  Elena absolutely loves her quilt -- wants to take it to Dallas with us this week but I had to let her know that we just didn't have room for it.  Drat.

17th - I manage to get pictures of Malea with her quilt today.  Yay!  Now the only one I am missing is Zyra.  How cute is this?

We have been running errands and well, dang might as well stop in at the local quilt shop.  Check out the antelope in the window ---  truly patchworky.  Is that a word?  I was hoping to find some fabric for the inner border on my CS quilt, but no luck today.

18th - Travel day back to Dallas with the girls.

19th - Morning is spent playing with the girls but during nap time, I head out to the studio and get the first grid on the RS quilt finished.  This is the first time I have used my walking foot and I am loving it.  All of my other quilting experiences have been free motion where it won't work well.  This time, I want straight lines to keep the modern look going.  I am very pleased with the way it is turning out and am loving this quilt more and more.  The fact that it is going to someone in Mister's family makes me a bit nervous, but hopefully all will go well to finish it.  Our afternoon is at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park.

20th - Malea is sick to day so it is an at home day.  Once she is down for a nap -- I am off to the studio to finish the RS quilt.  Success!  I am soooo happy with this one.  It is far from perfect, but I am learning and growing each time I tackle something new.  Now for binding.  I managed to get it made while at retreat, so I just need to sew it on and start hand-stitching it down.

21st - We spend the morning at the zoo and after lunch, I am able to head to the studio and sew the binding on.  Loving this walking foot.  Into the house I go to sit down and bask in the quiet while I hand-stitch my binding.

22nd - Our morning is spent making cookies and doing crafts.  During naptime, I am able to finish the RS quilt.  It is ready to gift and not a moment too soon. I need it the 24th.

23rd - I spend the day with the girls - Arboretum in the morning and in the afternoon Elena makes a nightlight for her room.  No sewing today.

24th - It is Bob's graduation day - no sewing as the whole day is spent with family.  My quilt is given though and I think he is pleased with it.

25th - The morning is spent at the Thai Festival  but once we return home and kiddos are down for naps, I make my way to the studio and complete two of my BOM blocks.  Is this month really almost over?  I feel as though I still have a lot of work to do.

26th - The day is spent at the Arboretum, doing laundry, packing and returning girls to Mommy.  I am a bit sad.

27th - I don't have a ton of energy today but I do manage to make the last 2 CS blocks that were missing at the retreat.  All the additional blocks for the CS borders get cut as well.  I put together a few more block swaps to send out to the new members.  This is the last month for the exchange.  I think I'm glad.  Now to see what I can make with all of these blocks.

28th - It is time to build the borders on my CS quilts -- I need 8 of the buggers.  I get one strip completed and several are in the works.

29th - Received a call last night asking for help in Temple today so we are on our way for time with grands.

30th - Spent the day hand-quilting on the DN quilt.  I am halfway there.

31st -  Mister and I went shopping all morning and then the remainder of the day is spent hand-stitching.  The DN quilt is off the frame.  Yay me!

I have to say -- I LOVE this quilt.  This morning I found the perfect fabric for the binding and I can't wait to see how it all looks.

It is 10:30 at night when the quilt comes off the frame, but I know that I have a partially assembled block out in the studio and it is stopping me from checking off another item on my list so I head out there and 45 minutes later -- I have my last BOM block for this month.  Halleluiah.  I have absolutely no idea where this month went but went it did.

Thanks for coming along with me again this month -- perhaps next month will be a bit more organized.  Perhaps not.

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