Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Quilt Update

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

Goals:  Trip to DC this month

Round Robin (RR) blocks (14) - put into row, attach, and mail by April 28th - cut and ready to sew and another one cut as well
Grand Illusion (GI) Mystery Quilt blocks made, set. sandwiched, bound, labeled, quilted - no
Zyra Tea Set completed - ugh no
Weed Whacker blocks made, set, sandwiched, quilted, labeled, bound - blocks made, layout finished
Wanderlust - quilt, attach binding, label, bound, - no
BOM blocks (3) complete -  yes
Easy Street Clues 2, 3, 4, 5 - 2, 3, 4 yes
Orange Crush Clues 3, 4, 5,  - yes and almost set
2 Christmas Blocks made - 1 test finished, made changes -- then 3  Also finished selecting and graphing additional blocks.  
BD blocks complete - yes and partially set

1st -  March is supposed to come roaring in like lion -- right?  Not happening.  It's a dreary, drizzly day in Dallas but we must go forward with the plans for the day.  I wake and quickly head for the kitchen to make a birthday cake for Mister.  "What," you ask.  "Wasn't his birthday a week ago?"  Well, yes it was BUT today is the day to get together with his family and celebrate AND I didn't make him a cake ON his birthday since we were traveling and playing.  Once the cake is finished, we are off to Irving for lunch and party time.

Okay -- now we are back home and just chillin'.  What can I do to at least feel semi-productive that doesn't involve cleaning house?  OC clue 3 is calling me so I get that cut out of the stacks of scraps from stripping out scraps yesterday.  I also cut WAAAYYY too many small triangles for clue 2 so those are ready and waiting to be used now.  A quick dash out to the studio nets me an armful of scraps to press from the never ending tub.  Once those are finished, the rest of the evening is spent snuggling with Mister and watching The Great Britain Baking Show final AND the Downton Abbey season finale.  Yes --- yes, I do love PBS.

2nd - I stayed up late last night to make a "day by day" goal list for this month.  Usually that helps get me motivated in the morning when I know exactly what I need to tackle for the day.  And true to form - it works magnificently.  Another two minute trip to the studio gives me another armful of scraps to press AND this months 3 BOM's.  I now have my direction set.  First up is to press the scraps into submission and stack them with the ones from yesterday.

Next you would think that I would do the BOM's, right?  Well that would make sense, but no -- I can't stand it and make the clue 3 OC blocks.  They are so fun and you can see the post LINK.  For some reason I have a bit of extra pieces though.  Apparently this quilt is providing me with ample opportunities to refine my counting skills.

Once the darling little triangle units are finished, I put in a movie (1995 Sabrina) and start in on the BOM's.  By the time the movie is over, my blocks are complete and I have even sorted my zip loc bag of 1 1/2" squares into colors so that I can work on my BD blocks.  I now know what my next purchase will be.  I want one of those clear, flat, divided organizers with compartments that will hold a stack of these little squares sorted by color.  Perfect!  Yes, it will come home with me sometime this week. I am on the hunt.  The evening is spent working on the orange flip and sew sections of my BD blocks.  I even manage to sew most of them into another set of four-patches, creating the bow-ties until I realize that I ran out of bobbin about half way through the stack.  I'm calling it a night.  Ugh.

3rd -  Okay, today is the day that I get to see the bottom of the scrap bin.  Woohoo.  I fill my arms with every last piece of fabric that is in there and am off to the ironing board to tame these buggers.  An hour later, I have quite the stack of scraps to strip out.  Do you remember what the bins originally looked like?

  Here they are upon arrival from the laundromat --- I have pulled from them for almost a year now and used their treasures in just about every quilt during that time.  Stacks and stacks of scraps were pressed and stripped.  At one point, I got down to just one tub and the fun continued.  I am dang glad to have this task finished but even more thrilled to have all these strips to work with.  Woohoo.

Now, back to the orange bow-ties that need bobbin thread.  They get finished quick as can be, seams get spun, and I lay them out on the den table to get a bigger look at them.  I am so loving these little sweeties.  I take a few minutes to straighten up the office sewing area and consolidate the last three days of ironing scraps into one stack to take out to the studio.  Look at this:  it is over 4" high.  Wow.

Now I am off to the studio to get my WW quarter blocks put together and hopefully get a wee bit finished on making the border pieces as well.  I manage to get a great start and have to rip out the first 5 units that I sew together.  Really Deb?  Try paying attention to the colors, girl.  After my frogging fiesta, I am back in business and get the quarter blocks put together lickety split.  I even do get some border pieces cut and start making strips to use while making more border parts.

It's time to give up the studio and accomplish something in the house before Mister gets home.  One of the things I manage to finish is to layout the WW blocks.  Yep, I'm sure that's what you thought I meant by getting things done in the house.  I think we'll go get pizza tonight - thus no cooking.

My evening project is to complete the red flip and sews and turn them into bow-ties as well.  Next up is yellow.

4th -  I am pumped!  It is raining like crazy, thunder every now and then, AND we are getting more ice/sleet/snow tonight.  Aren't you excited too?  For sure it means another day of sewing in the house.  The studio is way too wet of a dash and I'm just not up to it today.  Once I have some blog entries finished (personal ones) I set Mister up with some more pictures to develop and then turn my attention to my tiny little pieces.  Do I want to sew or cut?

Honestly, I would like to do some cutting first so I grab the constant fabrics for the next OC clue, cut the strips and then the triangles.  I am ready for some HST's.

Now, I need to sew.  I am definitely keeping focused on lots of little pieces today.  I start by completing clue 2 for ES (you can find the link here) before moving on to more little bow ties.

The afternoon and evening net me another 150 little units -- all in yellow, green, and purple.  I only have 4 more colors to go.  They will be finished tomorrow as I will once again be in the house due to weather.  If you think I'm nuts over these and showing an unusual amount of pictures of them, you are correct.  I am absolutely in love with these and simply cannot wait to complete them and move on to the next stage.  This quilt is exciting to me and one that Mister has specifically asked for.

5th - Oh my! I only have a couple of days before I leave for DC.  I want to complete my bowties and today is the last day I have to sew.  Tomorrow MUST be spent preparing for travel.  I still have teal, brown, blue, and pink to finish.  It's time to set the machine onto zoooommm speed.  Starting with the flip and sew corners, I chain stitch my corner squares on, then press the chain into submission.

I'm a little odd, I know, and my units are usually a bit too large, rarely too small.  I take a ruler and set it on my unit to trim it square BEFORE I cut the seam allowance behind the corner triangle.

Once I know that the unit is correct, I trim the back two pieces off.  If this part is large enough, I save it for bonus triangles, but in this case, they are just too dang small.  There would be nothing left after seam allowances.

I did it!  My bowties are complete and I have just the prettiest rainbow ever.

At the top of this post, on the 2nd, I showed a picture of my little corner squares and the stacks were pretty dang high.  Lots of squares in the box.  NOW, after using over 430 of them, I only have a few left.  I am hoping there are enough for the next step.  I need at least 100 more in that step and I think even more after that.  I bet I don't have any left in the tin when this quilt is complete.

6th -  I can't resist the call of the OC parts sitting on my machine.  As I try oh so hard to ignore them, I spot my rotary cutter and the rest of the constant fabrics for OC.  A snap decision to cut the remaining parts has me asking Mister to look ahead at the clues and tell me what I need to cut.  I am trying very hard not to look at the final reveal.

Now I have the fever bad.  I must continue working on this project.  I sew my HST's together and put one block together for clue 4.  Oh I am loving this quilt so far.

Now, I have to absolutely work on the house.  I have laundry going, am trying to pack, cleaning floors and bathrooms, AND now for the office/mini studio.  Yes!  It takes me several hours but it is actually fairly decent for Mister to work around in while I am gone.  I work until rather late, but I believe I am ready to travel.

7th - And I am off!  Washington DC here we come.  We meet at the airport where I am given a NEON yellow t-shirt to wear.  Yep -- that's right.  As if my hair doesn't stand out enough as it is.  We take this quick picture that my grandson coins an "Usie" since there are three of "us" in it.  It doesn't qualify as a selfie to him.  Kinda tells you how my next few days are going to go, right?  There will be entire blog posts devoted to these days so I am only going to share what is quilty here.  Or at least sewing related.  I spend my flight working on a graph for my Christmas block.  Not sure I'll use it, but at least it's a start on this project.

Straight from the airport we are bused to the National Mall so that we can visit the Smithsonian museums.  I have been looking forward to this since I heard we are going.  Let's see what we can find of interest.

Wonderful old machines are on display in the American History Museum and how cool are they?  These are the only two that I spot but Jen tells me as we are leaving that she had spotted another one.  Now for my sad story.  I was so looking forward to seeing the quilts here.  One big problem.  Half of the museum is being remodeled so the quilts were put away and not on display.  Seriously?  It was the one item on my "museum" list.  Oh well onward gang.  Today's complete blog post can be found HERE.

8th - After a packed day yesterday, we are up at 6 and ready to go again.  Today, we are off to Virginia to see Mount Vernon.  I wonder what I can spot there.

Oh look!  I find the spinning/weaving room.  There are several spinning wheels in here and this magnificent old loom.  I have my days where I think that I would love to learn to spin - then sanity sets in and I realize that I absolutely don't need ANOTHER thing to fill up the house with.  Oh just imagine all the beautiful yard I would be able to find.  No - no - no.

In the women's slave quarters I find another spinning wheel and a story about how the wheels seldom stopped.  Spinning was an ongoing, continuous necessity to keep the slaves in clothes.  Most of the Washington's clothing came from England but ALL clothing for the slaves was made on location.

In the on-site museum, I get a kick out of the display on fabric and the taxes they have to pay on it -- that we are STILL paying on this wonderful item that we love to pet, look at, cut up, and sew with.  Mount Vernon is wonderful -- please check out this link for day two of my trip to see all of it's wonder.

We make a trip from beautiful Mount Vernon to the National Holocaust Museum.  It's quite the mind switch and I truly struggle through it.  I have tears as I walk through and simply cannot believe that man can do this to man.  Yes, I do find a sewing machine - with the story attached of how seamstresses could sew for the Nazi's and keep themselves alive for a short time.

9th - Day three and I finally find a quilt to share.  There were some in the mansion at Mount Vernon but we were not allowed cameras in there.  At the Ford Theater, there is a museum downstairs and I spot this quilt.  It was made by two ladies for a fundraising auction at the 1864 Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia.  The U.S. Sanitary Commission was the precursor to the Red Cross.  Each square is signed by well-known politicians, artists, and military and religious leaders.

In the parlor, where Mary Lincoln stayed while the President was being cared for after he was shot, I spot a quilt and a wonderful Wilcox and Gibbs machine.  All the details for day three are located in this post.

10th - It's our last day in Washington DC and it is a busy one.  We arrive back in Dallas around midnight after our flight being delayed.  The trip was incredible though and you can read about day four here.  I hope you checked out the other three days as well for we truly saw a spectacular amount of the city and so very many wonderful sights.

11th -  RECOVERY DAY!  I am barely moving.  Plan on going to bed around 7:30 but am spending the day vegging.

12th -  After 12 hours of sleep, I am ready to see what magic the OC blocks can create while I finish clue 4.

I find that if I lay things out like this, then I don't spend as much time trying to build a block without getting duplicate units in it.  If you want to read about clue 4 please click HERE.

I LOVE how the blocks turn out.  What do you think?

13th -  At the last retreat, my daughter gave me a book entitled "While We Were Watching Downton Abbey" and I pick it up today.  Bit of a mistake I think.  I sit down and read the whole dang book -- it's a fun one and an easy read BUT I certainly don't have much to show for my day.  I do get the block sashings for BD cut.  This picture is showing these much pinker than they really are.  It's a pale pink.

14th - Today is the Dallas Quilt Show and we are having a Meet and Greet breakfast before.  There are a dozen smiling faces at breakfast and then we are off to the show.  SOME of us got the memo to dress alike.  You can read all about the day and see eye candy from the show HERE.

While there, I meet up with Lee Ann and receive my fabric from Debra Linker's sale on Valentine's Day.  I was spending the day with my sweetie and Lee Ann shopped for me.  That wonderful bag and my purchases certainly had my tote bag full to the brim.  There is such fun planned with what you see in this picture.

15th - It's a family day.  After lunch with Mister's Mom and Bob, we are going to visit Penny in the hospital.  She had surgery Friday and is ready for visitors.  When we return, Mister wants to just relax for awhile so I settle in with CoCo and make 4 BD quarter blocks AND complete ES clue 3.  To see all about the ES clue check out THIS POST.

16th -  It's a fun day of blog work,  18 completed BD quarter blocks, and grocery shopping, When Mister comes home from work, he has Suzanne's fabric scraps that I left in Stephannie's truck on Saturday.  Oooooh, I can't wait to check them out.

17th -  I finish about 12 more BD quarter blocks and sort/pet the fabric scraps from Suzanne.  The rest of my day is devoted to making a traditional St Paddy's day dinner.  For recipes and pictures on my fun in the kitchen, please check this LINK.

18th -  The quarter blocks for BD are finished!  I make one block to see how it will look and I love it.  I immediately head for the living room to do a layout.  OOOOOOhhhh.  Now to start taming those scraps from Suzanne.

19th -  I am behind on OC but BD is still calling me.  I put two rows together and snap a "stained glass" picture.  Isn't it lovely?  Now back to work on OC girl.  I need to stay focused.  Rather quickly, the album blocks are finished for part of this weeks clue.  I would like to finish the clue, but must clean house as I have a visitor coming tomorrow.  Woot Woot.

20th -  Bright and early Miss Allison arrives for our play day together.  With tea time, trips to the Arboretum, Urban  Spools, and Quilt Connection along with lunch and an afternoon of sewing/cutting, we fill the day completely.  Please check out the whole story HERE.  It is complete with nature's eye candy.  Thank you, my friend, for a great day!

My completed work for the day?  I cut for a current RR.

21st - It's Mister's day and we start it off bright and early with a leisurely walk down to White Rock Coffee. and then a quick return walk home in the rain.  My task for today is to figure out the quantities I need for a retreat project.  Mister helps me build a spread sheet for retreats with all the information I need and then suggest we go down Harry Hines to shop for some supplies.  It's a successful trip and I am able to procure everything I need for my part of the name tags.  Without asking, Mister then takes me to Perth Street, where I am able to get the white fabric I need for another retreat project.  Yay!  two things checked off my list.  (Oh, "What about the plaid fabric in the picture?" you ask.  Well that was Mister's find and he REALLY wanted it for the back of a lap quilt. I guess another item just went onto the list.)

22nd - My day is devoted to Mister.  He was such a champ yesterday, helping with retreat things, that he gets to do whatever HE wants today.  We start the day with wonderful eye candy and you can read all about it AND have your soul fed with beauty by clicking this LINK.

23rd -  At the Quilt Show, I picked up some fabric for our gift to Kay at the November retreat.  She is the owner of the center and treats us like gold so we are making her a quilt filled with "chicken" blocks.  Yep, add this to the never being checked off list this month.  I get the fabrics all selected and cut for two blocks to send to Sharron.  Now, back to finishing the OC blocks.

YES!  I have them ready to lay out.  Oh I love the way this mystery was set up and the way it came together.  There are things I would do different if I did it again, but I am indeed loving it so far.

I also manage to cut some strips for Allison and the sashing for BD.  That just leaves me with Clue 4 for ES and I knock those out as well.  You can read all about this clue HERE.  It's been a good day.

24th -  I am getting behind on my personal blog so spend the morning doing some catch up there.  As soon as I have several posts finished, I am all over these chicken blocks.  I want them in the mail TODAY.  I am doing two just in case Jen runs out of time to do this project.  There is a blog post that you can link to HERE which will follow this project and watch this quilt come into being.  You can also click the Chicken Quilt 2015 tab at the top of the blog and it will take you there to see the updates as it goes along.

I finish my label for BD and cut the white fabric from Perth St. into the pieces I need for retreat before Mister gets home from work.  I get 17 pieces cut with the fabric we found at Perth.  It is not enough though so I will be on the hunt for more next meet and greet trip.

I have a new idea for a Christmas block and have graphed it all out and selected fabrics from the tote out back.  Now I HAVE to try and make a test block while Mister watches a show.  I work in the office to be with him and really get my game on.  By the time I am ready for bed, he is long gone and it is 1 a.m. BUT I have made and discarded the first prototype and completed three blocks that I like.  Oh I am super excited about this quilt.  The bottome block is the reject, top is the keeper.

25th -  Christmas blocks are cut!  Wow that took awhile.  Yes, I spent all day doing this.  The excitement over this project just keeps going and going and going.  Do I have a long list of other things to do this month?  Yep, but for some reason this one is all consuming right now.  Mister has asked for date night tonight instead of tomorrow so it's time to go and get ready.  He's shaking things up a bit.

26th -  My plan for today is to work on the tea set for Zyra and I get everything set up to paint only to discover that all my paints have totally dried up.  Drat.  I call the shop and order some new ones for Mister to pick up on is way home from work.  Since that didn't work out, for some reason I have trouble shifting gears and it takes me awhile to get moving on anything else.  It's not like there is a shortage of things to do and a rapidly disappearing month.  I decide to finish making the shaded four patches that I need for the border on OC.  For some reason I made about 45 extra the first go round so only need another 55 or so.  Yay! they are finished and I have a start on my idea for the label.  Not a terribly productive day, but at least something was accomplished.

27th -  It's girls day and we are off to Wichita Falls for the Texahoma Shop Hop.  It's a super fun day with amazing friends and you can read all about it in this LINK.  A few treasures made their way home with me and I also checked some "must have" items off my list for the next retreat.  It's getting closer and I definitely need to get on that bandwagon and get organized.

28th - It's the weekend that means Mister Time! He suggests some estate shopping and off we go.  First prize on the treasure hunt goes to this sweet lady who came home with me to play.  If you want to see what other wonderful fun we had and things we saw - click this LINK.  It does involve a chicken.  Too funny.

I spend all evening and into the wee hours graphing and developing some extra quilt blocks for my Christmas quilt.  I told you I am excited about this project.  I want mine a wee bit bigger than the 20 blocks we will have at retreat.  This is going to be amazing.  Well at least "I" will think so.

29th - Mister and I are off to the Arboretum and then a little shopping for some items for the house.  The birds will be thankful for they have received a new bird bath.  My afternoon is spent continuing to graph my Christmas quilt, make lists for retreat, and selecting fabrics for the RR that Jennifer S delivered to me Friday on our trip to Wichita Falls.  Yep, I have two of them again.  I am gonna love working with these colors.  I pull all fabrics from the Christmas tote out back that I wish to use and have determined that the remainder will go to retreat to share with others.  I won't be using all that I have pulled out either so this tote will fill up a bit more but this is the start of my contribution to the swap table.

30th -  I am determined to cut 600 5" charms for an upcoming retreat project AND 2 1/2" strips for another one.  It takes most of the day but Mission Accomplished.  Whew.  I put Netflix on and just let one episode after another of 3rd Rock From The Sun play.  While I'm cutting, I just move right on to getting all the parts for the new Row Robin cut as well.  The rotary cutter seems to fit in my hand well today so I just go ahead and tame today's scraps as well so as not to add to the mountain sitting here staring at me.  I have a hunch my hand may hurt tomorrow, but a bunch of work is behind me now.

31st -  It's the last day of the month and for the third month in a row, I don't have a finish.  Hmmm.  I think I need to really work on that next month.  My morning project is to get the borders finished for OC and they go together so slick and easy.  I LOVE Them.  Next, let's get this baby set.  I spend the rest of the day until Mister gets home doing just that.  AND it is not finished.  More 3rd rock episodes all day and I have two halves ready to be joined and then add borders.  Well, perhaps one more day of hard work and it will be a flimsy.  What shall I do this evening?  I know, I'm behind on ES, let's knock out that clue.  I start and decide that I am not really into it so shut the machine down and go back to my Christmas project.  I want to get all the white background cut so must start calculating it.  An hour later, I have a cutting list but I'm beat and ready for bed.  Yep, it's an early one tonight - all of 9:30.

Thanks for checking up on me this month.  I have certainly had a fun month and worked on many things that were never even on my radar at the beginning of the month.  Next month will be a whirlwind as I have grands coming for a week AND the birthdays begin - 3 grands in April and 3 in May.  I remember a year ago how I was trying sooo hard to get all their quilts finished.  By this time last year I had finished 7.  Goodness.  Check back in now and then and please check out the link to OUR QUILT BLOGS at the top of the page for many of the quilt groups are starting to restrict the posting of blogs into the groups.  If you want to still have a long monthly read and time for your tea, join the group.  Thanks for sticking around this long -- I appreciate all of you who read each month.

Links to Previous 2015 Monthly Update Posts

January Quilt Update

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