Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Quilt Update

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

Goals:  Retreat is this month and I may try and go see family.  Gotta stay sane on goals.

Round Robin (RR) blocks (14) - put into row, attach, and mail by 28th - yes
Grand Illusion (GI) Mystery Quilt blocks made, set. sandwiched, bound, labeled, quilted - lol no
Sewing Mats finished - yes
Weed Whacker (WW) units finished - yes
Wanderlust (W) - quilt, attach binding, label, bound - no
BOM blocks (6) complete - yes
Cut for Easy Street (ES) - yes 
Start Easy Street (ES) - yes clue 1 four patches, clue 2 half four patches
Start Orange Crush (OC) - yes four patches for clue #1

Retreat Goals:  (5th - 8th)

Valentine Mug Rug Project - yes
Sew Grand Illusion Blocks - no
RR blocks  - yes
Weed Whacker blocks made/set --- label/border worked on  - no

1st -  February is the month for love.  Valentines Day has always been one of my favorites and I get to add in Mister's birthday season to the month making it even more special.  I am excited to get it going.  Oh and how can I forget -- there is a retreat this month too.  Perfect.  That being said, let's get this month rolling.  Obviously I don't have enough to do with the many UFO's around the house so I'm going to jump on the Easy Street Quiltalong.  We stop to get the paint cards today and I am thrilled that after over 2 years, Valspar still has these colors, thus making the cards available.

Other than the cards, well today is a day for me to sit and shed a few tears still.  Again, it is all about love and I did so love Jason.  I'll be better in a few days, but for now it is okay to take things a bit slow.

2nd - No quilting today.  I am spending the day helping Tina get some "must do" items accomplished.  I guess it's better for her to be busy than a lump in bed.

3rd - Still haven't touched a machine.  I am working on the blog today and getting all of my own monthly paperwork finished.  Hey, someone's gotta do it.

4th - I am leaving for retreat tomorrow.  Oh my.  I guess that means that I need to figure out what I am taking and get everything prepped.  I am really quite unorganized this time with all that has been going on the past 10 days.  Grabbing a few projects, I pack them into a tote and gather everything else I think I will need.  Once Mister arrives home from work, he cleans Annie and Barbara for me while I load the car.  Brazos House -- I am kinda needing you right now.

5th - Yes!  Time with girlfriends is definitely what I need to heal.  I am up early and off to Rainbow just a little after 7 a.m.  I arrive at the Brazos House around 9 and start setting up.  If you wish to read all the details of our gathering, please check out this LINK.  Greeting everyone with giggles and smiles sure warms my heart and revives me.  We are ready to go with almost everyone here for the first day.  I start in on attaching my last duplicate RR to MY personal row robin.  It's certainly looking interesting.  Yes, check one thing off my list.  Next up:  Once again I have 3 kits that need to be put together this year.  Since I didn't get a start on them last month -- months 1 and 2 have blocks to piece.  Yay -- these are fun and I'm really loving the indigo one.

6th - I LOVE retreats and this morning I am really excited since I get to share my "project" with everyone.  It's mug rug time.  Remember the samples I showed you last month?  Well, here they are again along with one that Jennifer M. did for me too.  All to give these ladies a few ideas.

Right after breakfast I explain the project and everyone gets busy.  Yes -- minds are working and you can almost feel the energy bouncing around the room.  There are mug rugs to make and cups to decorate and bake.  The hum of machines starts and by noon almost everyone has completed the task.  I did say "almost" because for some reason I am rip, rip, ripping today.  The quilting in mine has now been ripped out three times.  Oh my.  Finally, I have success and we are able to gather everything together for a picture.  Didn't everyone do great?

Now, onto my main project for this retreat.  The NEXT row for my RR.  I am doing Talking Turkey blocks by Bonnie Hunter only in blues, green, purples, and aquas.  The colors are calming, but oh so many pieces.  Was this the perfect project for retreat?  I always tell people to do things they can get done.  Have I heeded my own advice?  I get all the little geese finished and start with the string blocks.  Unfortunately, I also decide to drown my sorrows a bit tonight.  Somewhere along the way, I run out of strings and fabric starts appearing on my table.  These are the BEST ladies anywhere.  I promise.  At 4:30 in the morning, I head for bed.  Tomorrow is a new day.

7th - I am back to the turkeys.  Today's mission is to finish the string triangles with more gifted fabric (some of which I don't even remember being given.  Oh my, Peppermint Patty, I do love you but think you and I will stay away from each other for quite awhile.  The awesome part is that even though I sewed through all of that last night -- my pieces look amazing.  Yay.  I have enough and it's time to trim them up and start building blocks.  Jana Leuschen  if you are reading this, stop now so that your surprise does not get ruined.

Now, onto the blocks.  What do you think?  It takes me ALL day to get these together but I am truly loving them.

8th - My row is ready to attach but I didn't bring the other rows.  That will have to happen at home and I can't put the duplicate row together yet since it needs a little sashing.  I have to leave early today so that I can get to Lindale for Jason's memorial service.  Everyone here has been so amazing to me that I am mentally ready for this.  I wish the retreat didn't have to end but we have successfully booked 3 more and totally filled one of those.  Woohoo.

9th - It is a day to recover from retreat and sleep.  I do get a little blogging accomplished but that is about it.

10th - With everything that has gone on the past 2 weeks, I am taking a second day.  I deserve it.

11th - Okay - back to work and life.  It's time to focus and move on a bit.  I unpack from retreat (yep, it's all just been sitting there waiting) and set my machines back up.  Now to find some excitement.  What to do, what to do?  I know!  Something new!  I pul fabrics for the Easy Street and Orange Crush mysteries.  I was able to get some of the "constant" fabrics for them while at retreat and now I am loving the way it looks already.  I select the pattern and fabrics for my next Row Robin which Jennifer S finished and gave to me at retreat.  Isn't pulling fabric the BEST?  Now to get all my future retreats organized and money separated.   Yes, I have quite the stack of deposits to sort through.

12th - Throughout this week, I have been fixated with watching season 6 of Sons of Anarchy.  Today, I power through and finish the season.  Hopefully that obsession won't interfere with sewing anymore.  Well, at least until Netflix has season 7 available.  Now to get productive.

13th - The studio is calling.  I have not worked out there since before Christmas and oh I am ready.  What project?  Weed Whacker was a class I took over New Years and at the time I said it was one that would not stay in the UFO stage for long.  I guess I need to make that a true statement.  Out it comes and let's see where it was left off.  Oh, I have the twosies made -- time to add the flip and sew corners.  A days work leaves me with many units ready and a stack of bonus squares to work with.  Enough for today.  I need to walk to the store and prepare for Valentine's Day and the beginning of the "birthday season" for Mister.  Now, there is a reason to smile.

14th - Valentines Day -- time with Mister
15th - Time with Mister

16th - I am so lucky to be able to do a home visit today.  Jennifer M. has invited me over to cut fabric for the Easy Street mystery.  We will be doubling our scrappy variety that way and have fun visiting while we get something accomplished.  Check out the post on this fun day HERE.  These are Jennifer's fabrics at the end of our day.

17th - Early in the morning I quietly go out to the studio to finish adding ends to my WW units, started pressing those and the bonus blocks and it appears I am short about 36 units.  Mister is working from home today so I spend the rest of the morning over at Tina's helping with more financial "stuff".

18th - Today is RR day.  I attach the row that I made at retreat to it's home ship first.  Looking good.  Next, put sashing onto my blocks, make a row, and attach to the other mother ship.  What do you think?   I think, interesting is a good word.  I then go back out to the studio and sew more precut strips sets for WW.  I want to start on OC and the first clue is 4 patches (yes, it's a day early -- I peeked).  Yay -- easy peasy and I start sewing light and dark strips together, creating a lovely string behind my machine.  A little time at the ironing board results in all the bonus blocks from WW looking spiffy.  I have a new small group meeting tonight and so much go get ready for it.  (Small group was fun -- you can read about it here.

19th - Four patches are everywhere!  OC clue 1 is complete - units sewn, seams spun, and everything pressed and counted.  You can read all about it in this POST.  It is time to start tackling the HUGE bin of scraps that has been around for over a year.  I grab and nice armful and start ironing - soon I have nice stack of scraps.  The rest of the day is consumed with laundry, a walk to the post office to mail the RR, and making dinner.

20th -  Some time out in the studio results in a finish of cutting Easy Street parts and pieces.  I also press another stack of scraps and work on idea for November retreat -- I know I know --- I need an idea for April - but this is just way cool.  I am so excited.

21st - Time with Mister - We are off to the Hill Country for a weekend to celebrate Mister's birthday.  One of the stops we make today is the Fredericksburg Trade Days and I thought I would share some things we spotted.  I was very good though -- nothing came home with me.

Just look at these hand cranks.  ALL were $195.00 each.  Oh, I coveted for sure.  Another booth had these lovely feed sacks.  I have never seen so many in one place.  $5.00 each.

A few quilts were available as well so here is a little bit of eye candy:

At one point I spotted this old iron.  Oh my, the cord was a mess and the temperature knob missing.  It also weighs a ton but I do love the little box it was in.  However, $75.00 seemed nuts to me.

As I was peeking into this booth, my eye came to rest on the counter.  No humans to be seen, but the shop is definitely under control.

Now, this next item I really thought would be awesome if I had 2 of them back to back in the center of the room.  Nice cutting table height and plenty of storage.  However, at $600 each -- well, not gonna happen.

22nd - Time with Mister -- Mister's Birthday

23rd -  We are having an ice storm and it is blessed cold out so I am back in the office working on CoCo, my parking lot 301, for the first time.  What a sweetie - she sews like butter with such a nice little hum.  Mister is working from home and he makes a few final adjustments to her while I shower.  THEN, apparently he takes my camera as well.  Yep, this is me working in clean pj's (why use clothes on a day like today) and with my Nefertari look.   I don't even want to attempt maneuvering the ice to get into the studio out back so grab a project from the cabinet in here.  It looks like Bow-Dacious (BD) is going to come out and play.  The first step on it is -- okay see if you can guess -- FOUR PATCHES.  Here we go again.  After some discussion with a few friends, I set up a new Facebook group for those who want to READ and those who WRITE quilt blogs.  I am very excited about it and if you are enjoying reading this, here is the LINK TO THE NEW GROUP  -- please come join.  If you click on it (as with all my links) they open in a new page and you don't lose your place here.  I think it's going to be such a fun group when you just want to sit back with a cuppa and read.  Now don't stop coming here y'all.  Just add the group to your reading list.

24th -  Ice still everywhere assuring me the companionship of Mister working from home again.  I am back in the office working on BD four patches and they are starting to come together.  I need about 400 of these little darlings so it may take awhile.  Strip sets become twosies and twosies turn into four patches.  Cute, cute, cute little four patches.

25th -  I finish the BD four patches - yes I am just that awesome - and immediately start sewing strips together for my ES four patches.  Yes, I am working ahead again as I plan to be very busy this weekend and don't want to get behind.   My chains and strip sets have both become large piles of fabric on the floor -- hmmm - I think some snipping is coming my way.

I get all the BD units cut apart, seams spun, and finger pressed before moving to the ironing board to complete the final press.  I am loving these brightly colored little units.  This may turn out to be one of my favorite quilts ever.  But then, I say that about most of them as I am working.  Next, I clip apart the seam sets for ES, press them, and decide that I have sewn enough for today.  It's time to send out the email on my surprise for the November retreat.  Oh, I do hope everyone likes it.

26th -  More four patches here I come.  This makes the third set this week.  I am really getting good at these.  I love how they turn out though and if you are interested in the small tutorial that I made while working on them, please check out this post.  I know -- who would have thought that I would try to teach anything this early in the game, but dang, as I said, I'm getting good at these.

I move on to cutting clue #2 for OC in order to be ready for it tomorrow.  The last thing for today is to drag out ALL the quilt block books and magazines and see if I can find the perfect Christmas block for November's retreat.  Yes, I make a fine mess.

27th -  Mister is back at work for the second day today and I zip out to the studio for some early morning sewing time before I have to get ready for a visit from Tina and to make sure the house is clean as friends are coming over early tomorrow morning for our adventure shop hopping in Waco.  I finish up my WW units by adding their flip and sew corners.

I thought I would share how I work with a flip and sew from this point forward.  I lay the unit on the ironing board and press the flipped corner back.  This allows me to not only make sure that it fits, but also to set the secondary seam that I have sewn to achieve the bonus units.  See how there are three triangles there now?  I fold back the top one and split the seam, clipping away the other two.  Repeat for the opposite end.

Laying the other triangle back in place and a quick press of the two cut off units, here is what I get:

Pretty cool huh?  I work through the stack and even get a few of the strip sets for the border started.  It's time to go inside and clean.  Mister is on his way home.  The weather is changing rapidly and it's starting to snow.  What?

Well, the snow has certainly changed a few things today.  Tina is no longer coming over to work on financials so I guess I am back to Clue #2 for OC (you can see the post on the whole process here).   I spend the rest of the day finishing these units and frowning.  My trip for tomorrow has been cancelled and I am one unhappy girl.  Would you like to see why?

Yep, snow and ice.  Schools are letting out.  Roads are closing.  What a mess.  The only good is watching the birds out the window.  Look at these beauties.  I make one quick trip out to the back to grab some thread and spot these tracks in the snow.  Had to go back and find a camera.  I need to find a smile wherever I can today since I am pouting big time.

28th  - Since my trip has been cancelled, Mister and I are off to the coffee shop on foot and then just going to chill a bit today.  Yep, that seems like an appropriate word play.  I do manage to get some of the scraps that I pressed this past week cut into strips to replenish the tubs.  I still have a long way to go though.  It's been a fast month -- don't you think?  Thanks for stopping in for a peek into my world and please do come back again to visit.  Onto March.

Links to Previous 2015 Monthly Update Posts

January Quilt Update


  1. Wow!! Look how much you got done!! I'm so impressed!!! :) I loved it all. And I may be a wee bit jealous at what you were able to accomplish!

    1. I really feel like I didn't get much done at all since I had so much down time and didn't have a finish this month or last month. Still, it was a good month for creativity and I thank you for encouraging me.