Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Quilt Update

I have moved the previous posts to the end of the entry.  I hope that you make it that far.

Goals:  The mystery quilt is going and I am trying to get Christmas finished.  Please let me stay focused.

Wanderlust (W) sandwiched, quilted, labeled, and bound - sandwiched only 
Mark, sandwich, quilt, label, and bind Sew Squared (SS) quilt  - yes
Grand Illusion (GI) Mystery Quilt worked on - clues 1-5 complete
Making Waves pieced, sandwiched, quilted, labeled, and bound - yes
Finish sewing mats - no
A couple of hats - yes
Messenger bag for Bekah - yes

Prepare for classes:

Mystery Quilt (GP) - Batiks (Take advantage of the sale - purchase some neutrals) - All Colors - ONE accent color (purple) - yes

Weed Whacker (WW) - 2" strips 9.5" long in browns and teals, 3 1/2" neutral squares  -- additional 2" strips for border yes - not border

Bow-Dacious (BD) - poorly prepared but grabbed some 1 1/2" strips, 2" neutral squares, and 1 1/2" squares

Scrap Crystals (SC) - 2" strips red/black/white, 1 1/2" strips red/black -- red/black sashings, outer border black, binding red - yes cut all squares and some triangles (lots more to cut still)

1st - Again -- somehow I lost this entire post and had to start from scratch.  This may not be such a fun post to read as my memory doesn't hold things well from a month ago.  Dang -- Here goes anyway.  The house is empty today so guess what that means?  I get to work on GI clue 1 and I am thrilled.  I have a bit of fun decorating the office while I chain stitch my HST's.  How fun is this?  To see more of my fun decorations and read about this clue click here.  My units are finished and I even make the Monday link-up.  Woohoo.  Now back to Christmas gifts.

2nd - Mister and I picked up some yarn to make a hat for my son and I also found some glass Christmas ornaments to fill with all the dog ears I have been saving from previous mystery quilts and my row robin.  With two Celtic Solstice quilts - I filled two ornaments.  One for Wanderlust, one for  GI, and one for the row robin.  That leaves me one for the mystery I am starting on New Years.  I am loving them.  It only takes me about 15 minutes to have them all filled and ready to hang on my cute little tree when I get the decorations up.  Now to find a gold pen to write on them with so that I always remember which quilt they go to.  I will continue to fill on the GI and RR ones and I may try and combine the two Celtic Solstice ones into one ornament.  We shall see.

Then I move on to hats.  I need to get one in the mail for my son right away as his birthday is the 5th.  They turn out awesome and I am having so much fun with these giant pompoms -- they are merely pinned on inside.  I wonder what he will think.  Time to mail before the post office closes.

3rd - I REALLY need to focus on Christmas so I start my day out by marking SS.  Misters templates are perfect.  I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him help as much as he does.

Even the wavy lines have a template.  Seriously -- he is the best.  This quilt scares me so much though.  I really want it to turn out well and after Peaceful Paisley last month, I know how difficult it will be.  Am I ready?  Nope.  What else can I find to do instead?  I know, I'll do laundry and clean house.  Now you really know that I am nervous, don't you?

While I have the laundry going, I go ahead and sandwich SS so that I can clean the living room and prepare it for the Christmas tree.  By the time Mister get's home, the house is clean, laundry is finished, and dinner is ready.  The rest of the evening is spent cutting out more sewing mats.  Yep, I need new projects right now like I need a hole in my head, but it just sounds fun.  Four more cut and ready to quilt.  I think I will use them to test new patterns and learn something other than stippling.  Time to branch out.

4th - Today I am up and determined to get the house decorated for Christmas.  First things first -- up to the attic and bring down one tote at a time -- place the decorations around the house -- and return the tote.  Yep -- OCD kicking in big time today.  I get everything decorated except the tree which is still in the attic, but the totes are waiting in the living room for Mister to come home and help.  My room looks so cute and cozy.  Yep -- that stack of quilts will be almost gone with the Christmas mailings this month.  See my lovely ornaments?

5th - It's clue day and I am excited.  I moved things around in the living room so that there is room to work - and no, the tree did not get put up last night - sigh.  It's a cutting day for me and it turns out to be that way for Laurie and Candy as well.  What fun to visit with new friends while working.  I'm loving this.  For more information on Clue 2, please check this link.  In the evening, I do get started running a few of the flip and sew squares through Barbara.  Oh this pink, black, and neutral will be so lovely.  Such fun.

6th  - It's a FUN day.  I am off to McKinney to meet up for lunch and some shopping with the Quilt Ladies and then on to Carrollton and Jon's soccer game.  I LOVE these days with friends who share the same love that I do --- fabric!!  Here is my treasure from today and a link to see the fun we had.

7th  - I am spending most of my day working on Clue 2 for GI. Mister is home today and in the office with me.  I must decorate him!  He is so funny -- as I finish and grab the camera, he moves the squares so they cover his face.  Yep, that's my Mister.

Our afternoon is spent with our nephew and his friends from college at the Arboretum.  Another full day.

8th - Today is GI day -- and netflix of course.  I start by watching Hook as I merrily sew diagonal lines like crazy.  After the movie, I finally give in and start Sons of Anarchy.  Five episodes later -- Clue 2 is complete.  I also have close to 900 bonus HST's.  How fun.

9th  - Back to the office for me.  Seven SOA episodes later and I have completed fourteen blocks on the MW quilt.  There are two of each.  That is two every episode.  I am cooking today.

10th - Okay, I am hooked on this dang show.  Another day in the office working on MW.  My seven episodes today nets me only 6 blocks prepped and ready to applique down.  Whew -- I was on a learning curve today.  Applique is still very foreign to me and by the time I cut everything out, sewed it together, added the fusing, and pressed into place -- my day is over.  Wow.

11th - First thing, out to the studio to get the applique work finished.  While here, perhaps I will work on SS.  I get the quilt loaded and machine threaded.  Let's go.  OH - -hey -- how about I try and use the bobbin winder the way it is designed to be used.
Away I go -- quilting and filling a bobbin at the same time.  Ultimate coolness.  Leave it to the vintage machines.

I get a couple squares finished and then decide that I am really just not ready to tackle this yet.  Back to the office I go.

Once back in the office - - 5 episodes of SOA and I have the MW top set.  Oh my, that feels good and I am one step closer to a gift being finished.

12th -  CLUE 3 day.  Woohoo.  Today the sit and sew is being held in the den as we finally have our tree up and now the living room is pretty full.  I am blessed with good friends again today and thoroughly enjoy my time with Jennifer, Candy, and Janet.  To read about the fun we have today please check out this link.  I spend the rest of the evening working away and am so very close to finishing this clue.

13th - I am tackling my little stacks first thing and soon this clue is behind me and I am left with a tray of happiness.  Now it is Mister time and we are off to the Bishop Arts district for some shopping and lunch out.  I love these date days with my sweetie.

When we return in the evening, I decide to tackle some crumbs tonight.  I work on the border blocks from GI scraps along with the border and label for MW.  These are just so fun to do.

14th - No sewing today.  Jason time - we need to treasure this friend while we have him.

15th - I need to ship.  Oh my, it is the 15th already and I don't have a single package in the mail.  I start out by writing on the label of the first quilt to ship and then go in search of a box.  Guess what?  No boxes.  Well dang, I guess shipping won't happen today.  What shall I do instead?  I know -- let's make the back for MW.  Of course there is a quilt in the studio that has to ship, but remember -- it is scary to me.  The back for MW is made from 25 fat quarters that Mister helps cut to size as I sew.  Another step finished. 

 16th - Okay -- enough is enough.  SS needs to ship.  I must conquer my fear and go get it quilted.  Here we go.  I refuse to leave the studio until it is finished and once I have the quilting complete, I go ahead and attach the binding.  YES!  Now to bury the billion threads that are hanging.  Oh it will take forever and I truly dislike that part.

 17th -  My day starts out staring at these threads.  They all need to be buried.  Did I mention how much I dislike this part?  I think perhaps HATE would be a stronger word.  Ugh.  Let's get started as they are not going to bury themselves.  Three and a half hours later, I can move on to stitching the binding down.  Whew.  Three more hours and this quilt is ready to box up.  I MUST ship tomorrow.  What do you think?  I have overcome!

The rest of my day is spent writing on labels and boxing up quilts with the boxes Mister brought home yesterday evening.  I am a package wrapping fiend but soon have a stack ready to mail and all the rest of the gifts are wrapped and under the tree as well.

It is so hard to let some of these go.  I didn't think it would be, but it definitely is.  It is dark by the time Mister gets home, so even SS is boxed up --without it's outdoor picture taken.  So sad.  I will have to ask Amanda to take one for me so that my album is complete.

18th -  First thing, I sandwich MW so that I can get started on it.  Fortunately it does not have to ship.  Then off to the post office with a dolly full of packages to mail.  So glad that they are gone.  Now -- Christmas cards to work on.

19th -  It's clue day and my mess is still in the den from last week.  Life is getting in the way of those who were planning to join me so I am all by myself for clue 4.  It's okay -- I just settle in and cut and sew, and cut and sew.  It goes together so well and I have it all finished by the time Mister gets home from work.  For the whole story on clue 4, please check this link.

This tray is getting dang full.  How many more clues will there be?

20th - It's a day with Mister.  We decide to see The Hunger Games and then spend some time at the mall.  I love these carefree days together.  Do we not have the best Santa ever?  To see the rest of this day -- visit Mister and Lady here.

21st - I have no idea what happened today.  We didn't take any pictures and nothing is on my calendar so with the lost post -- well I can't even attempt to fake it.

22nd - Okay -- it's time to do this last quilt.  Bobbins first.

After posting for help on how to tackle this quilt in a couple of groups, I am ready to give it a try.  I am soooo very scared and again really want it to turn out okay.  Jump right in - right?  I decide to start with the center color zigzag by outlining it and the individual blocks - the do the unique blocks with their decorative stitching before moving onto the cream zigs and their straight stitching.  I am only using a walking foot so want to save the FMQ work in the colored zigs for after all the rest is complete.

24th - Mister has to work today so I spend ALL day in the studio working on the MW quilt.  It is a unique way to spend Christmas Eve but the quilting is finished and label and binding are attached.  It is now time to curly up by the tree and start the handwork.  Threads to bury and a binding to stitch down.

Once the threads are buried --- a quick photo for posterity.

I LOVE it.  I think it is the best job I have done so far and I guess that makes sense since it is number 30 this year.  I am glad I saved these harder ones for the end as I have truly loved the way they turned out.  Yay me.  The rest of the evening is spent making the back for Wanderlust and finishing the binding for it as well.  I am now ready to sandwich it.  Will it get finished before year end?  Back to binding.

25th - Merry Christmas!  I wake earlier than Mister and slip out to the living room, turn on the tree lights and start in on my binding again.  I would so love to get this finished today.

Mister joins me with some tea and we take the time to share a Christmas morning with some laughs and tears (of joy) as we open the gifts sent by our children.  Oh my -- our hearts are truly touched.  Then it is back to the binding for awhile before we leave to spend the rest of the day with Mister's family.  Guess what???  It is finished!  AND -- I love it.  AND -- I even surprised myself with the quilting.  If you can biggie size it on your screen -- check out the back for that is where the quilting really shows up.  Ah yes, deep breath.

I am fortunate to be able to give my mother-in-law her quilt in person.  I LOVE the smile as she opens the box and the first words out of her mouth are:  "Ohhh, at last.  I've been waiting for this."  That is a definite heartmelt for me.  I adore this woman and she has truly made me feel a part of the family.

26th - Christmas is over and Mister is back to work.  That means I need to do the same.  With SOA playing on netflix, I start my day with clue 5.  I am completely finished by 8:30.  Now that was a quick clue.  For the complete show go to this post.  Now -- I still have gifts to finish and family arriving tomorrow.

I have this messenger bag that I have wanted to make for my granddaughter but put it on hold with all the other projects still needing attention.  Today is the day I get to focus on it.  Seven episodes of SOA and many thought provoking moments later, I have a bag.  It has a pocket inside and is fully lined.  Isn't it cute?  I hope she loves it.  I do think quilting is easier than something like this though.

Onto more gifts:  I need two more hats for Christmas still.  Time to get hooking.  Three hours later, I have completed another task.  Yes!

Mister gets home from work and is beat.  He goes to bed around 8.  Well dang, I am not ready for bed yet so I start in on my Wanderlust label so that is ready to go when the quilting is finished.  I LOVE it and I even get the border block finished as well.  More checkmarks on my lists.  Yay!  I THINK all gifts are finished now and I am ready for family tomorrow.  Whew.

27th -  It's time to wrap the last quilt.  That means write on the label and box her up.  Another one in the done column.  Now to go and celebrate Mom H's 80th birthday.  What a fun time we have and she was delighted with our little impromptu party.  We left her living room ceiling covered with balloons.  By the time we get home, we have just a bit of time before the house fill as Jen's family arrives.  We have an airport run tonight as well to pick up Rhiana's family.  We will be full to the brim tonight with 13 people in our little house.

28th - Today is devoted to family.  It's Christmas for us.  I am able to gift two more quilts today and both girls were very surprised.  Score one for mom.

 Jen was even super impressed that I was able to keep hers hidden the whole time as she thought she had seen them all.  Yep, I'm sneaky aren't I?

Being able to do something like this as a gift is such a joy for me.  I wish I had something like this from my mother or grandmother.

 29th - Mister is back at work today after dropping Rhiana and Kasey at the airport for their trip to Mexico.  I have the girls and we spent the day playing and I started cutting for my upcoming Weed Whacker class during nap time.Prepare for classes - selected fabrics for Weed Whacker and started cutting strips.

30th - I have a few minutes during quiet time to finish cutting for Weed Whacker.  I am now ready for class and so excited.  I think this is the first time I have changed the colors on a quilt I am taking a class on.  I sure hope it turns out.

31st - I am off to Denton to deliver girls to Jen for a couple of days while I take classes then onto Plano for day one of four with Bonnie Hunter.  Today's class is Weed Whacker  and I am so very excited.  Here is what I accomplished today, along with a huge stack of twosies and a pile of bonus HST's.  I love it.  For details on the day, please check out this post.  I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year and be safe tonight.  My sweetie will be working and I will be cutting for tomorrow's class.  See everyone in 2015 and thank you so very much for taking time out of your day to spend a few minutes with me each month.  I am indeed grateful for this quilty life I lead.

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
                         May Quilt Update
                         June Quilt Update
                         July Quilt Update
                          August Quilt Update
                         September Quilt Update
                       October Quilt Update
                       November Quilt Update

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