Thursday, December 14, 2017

I've Changed My Mind

A relatively big change of plans, change of thinking, change of mind took place last night. For all my short quilting career, I made quilts & gave them to family members & friends by using what I have here and not asking if they wanted specific sizes or colors. It was practical for me, even if not sensitive to their wants. There are a number of quilts I plan to finish in 2018 that are on the side bar list. Ten of them need batting.

The change is that I decided to remove names of possible recipients, just finish quilts & ask who might like them either for themselves or for someone they care about who might enjoy having a comfort quilt. 

I love quilting. It seems to me, in the darkness of the night, that I am taking a lot of pressure off myself. This way, I have no need to finish in a certain time for a certain reason.

My younger Son just gave me a substantial gift certificate to Joann's. Watching for sales, with it, I might be able purchase enough batting to finish every quilt on my list using up scraps in my closet. I will continue making tops and backs with what is here first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Life is Full of Surprises

This quilt had so many steps, and yet, is charming enough for me to do another using Outhouses instead of the traditional ones shown in the pattern.

There are five borders to the personal lap quilt. The surprise that came as I finished the top was finding a blue print fabric for the backing included as part of the project. It even has binding cut and ready to finish. I am quite pleased with the ending of it all. Because it is a designated wedding gift in late February for a family member, it will be basted, quilted & bound as soon as I am able.

The car guy is fixing the master brake cylinder today. It was terrifying to drive with a failed brake yesterday as I shipped out the last of the holiday parcels to family, kept my doctor's appointment and dropped off a donation at the thrift store. I still want to buy a new car but am not in crisis mode right now.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


This was the first mystery quilt I made that had us pre-cut fabric pieces for the first month, and admittedly, I was skeptical. However, it works really good. In fact, this last section, the borders, is so hard that I am glad I didn't have to go back and cut. It is a very complex pattern and might have been an easy one to let become a UFO.

Sashing & corner-stones are on, as is the first border. Pink and white strips shown on top of the ironing board are ready to cut at 2.5" for the checkerboard border. Lots of cutting, pressing, pinning and joining into all four sides. And then, more borders.

With only four blocks making up the quilt, two of them made up a row. Each has a different outside border, so there is an interesting pattern created. This is going to be a wedding quilt for a family member. All scraps. That is the wonder of it all for me. I am thinking that there isn't a fabric for the back and may buy a teal batik.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing

This is the month that all borders go on for one of the BOM I joined last year. What a lot of work it is. Luckily, all the pieces were pre-cut during the first month and now all that one does is simply assemble. That means pinning, sewing, unpinning, pressing, and either pinning again or cutting first and then pinning. Its going to be lovely and worth it but for now there are no photos of the progress.

Also, today, I am working on the cutout cookies to ship tomorrow. Today, I cut out sugar cookies, made Toll House mint/chocolate chip cookies & Biscotti. No matter how I tried to time the Toll House, they either got more done than I wanted or had soft centers.

I cut & baked ginger-bread boys yesterday. Both kinds of cutouts are getting frosted today so they can set overnight before trying to box and ship. 

Long day baking. Even though I am doing less baking and have found ways to do the stages over many sessions rather than to do everything at once.

I remember many baking parties with family and with my friend Virginia in MN. We were crazy back then but had the energy to do it.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Layout Done

Because other quilters finished earlier than I did, I learned from their layouts. Again, this quilt was made of scraps I had in my closet. The other day, someone said they were almost angry that they had to use their scraps and thought they would get ugly quilts.
Sometimes its made me sad not to shop for fabrics and what I use might not turn out as good as some I see, but it just makes no sense to bring home more when what I have takes over one HUGE closet.

This is my layout. We pre-cut pieces and so I have sewn sashing and corner stones together. Its a matter of joining the pieces and adding borders, which are also cut. It will look different from this layout. The tricky part was how the sides of each nested with the ones next to it. They form patterns too. I am far from done with this quilt. Borders are relatively complex.

And that's it for today as I am headed to the big city for a holiday parade & light dinner in Lancaster and to a holiday play in Palmdale, (Its a Wonderful Life). Tomorrow I start baking cutout cookies....dough needs to refrigerate before rolling. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

November House

I think our skills were supposed to expand as we did each of these houses. I fell behind on the project, and was highly committed to finishing it so it would not fall victim to being a UFO.

This is November work. I didn't add the window panes, flower centers, & door knobs. It is enough.December pattern for finishing was released last Friday, so I will keep going with this until it is a completed top. I want to use the same concept with outhouses for a quilt for my older Son. This helps me see how it can turn out, and will guide choices for fabrics.

I got out in the Western garden. I keep thinking about making the work easier because my energy and strength wane each year. I can do the work NOW and need to make some more changes. To that end, I want to move rock away from the wall so the vines can climb up. Their leaves drop and having as many rocks as was there made it hard for me to blow them away.

And then there is the FLY LADY plan. Today, I really gave the kitchen sink a major clean and got under it to wash the pipes, disposal, and walls and floor of it all. 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Block 12

This block was intended to use up scraps left from the previous blocks. I selected fabrics with a black background with the pink colors. I am glad these blocks for the top are finished. There is enough for the sashing, cornerstones and borders. There may be finishing instructions on the group page, so I will wait to see how it looks before proceeding. 

And then, my younger Son sent me a message asking if I could make cat toys from scraps. I found a number of tutorials on You Tube.

This one starts with a strip of fabric, and lots of thin strips that all get tied in a circle, which I will work on while watching a video. It surprised me how many different ones are suggested in the tutorials.