Sunday, April 30, 2017

Seasons ROM

The top is finished for the Seasons Row of the Month Mystery quilt. It needs a back and then can be basted.

It was quite a long quilt that finished up with a Seminole border. I added more to the sides and it measures wider than long, which is unusual. Also, I put a row of Snowballs rather than Maple Leafs for the last one. It looks green with the Seminole border. I cut strips for binding in the same green. My plan is to use a flannel sheet for the back. The whole quilt will be rather heavier, but is going to a male friend in MN where the winters can get mighty chilly.

As I look at the photo here, I am quite pleased with how it turned out, and moreover pleased that it is all scrappy.

I worked on another Mystery BOM for a quilt I have named Gratitude because it is made of Fall fabrics. This block is called Board Game. It needs pressing and a top and side frame of 2.5" squares. I didn't add them yet as I am not sure of the placement.

Busy day. I dug holes for 3 plants in the garden. Two are Foxglove and one is Columbine. All are bee friendly.  Today is a trip to Morro Bay for the Kite festival. Three hours there and again 3 back, so it will be a long day. I doubt there will be time for quilting.

I still find myself resisting the return to the UFOs. And part one of the Jungian course ends with a Webnar conference. Early. I hope I have the conversion time correct.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Do I Have a Winner for Holiday Gifts?

After thinking about potholders vs microbowl holders, I went looking for ideas and patterns. So, the plan is for me to continue working on the UFO's but to take time to make a couple of these every week to build up a stash or collection of them to give as gifts.


You Tube has so many tutorials for everything. I do have a LOT of batting, and do have a lot of cotton scraps. I learned from one of the tutorials to check the content of the thread! OMGoddess, I have been using what I was given. Cotton ONLY for this project in order to withstand the heat! Some of the spools I have no longer have end labels and so those are off limits to this kind of project.

The challenge, for me, is making a lot of them. Perhaps what will save me is only doing a couple at a time. 

I need to check with family members if they have a micro. I stopped owning one years ago. One of my Granddaughters did a school project by watering plants from different water sources. Plants she watered with micro heated & cooled water all died. I became one of those people concerned that the low levels of electromagnetic radiation may impact human health over a long time. Not everyone believes that, and the convenience is what they go for.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Mug Rugs

The last of the Spirit Guide mug rugs goes to a friend in Australia. She asked for a Pomeranian Dog, but when I looked for applique patterns, they were too pointy and so I decided to go with a dog paw.


I think this one might have been harder to applique anyway, going around the little toes. And I learned a couple of things that helped add interest. One was to make a darker frame by making the binding strip the darkest color. And then, the small squares to one side seemed to add more interest.


I tried my hand with a mouse for the top one. However, after finishing it, I realized I laid it out on the diagonal and did not like it, so made a second one with the little door. Both these and some  of the others might have looked better with a darker binding. The moose turned out nicely and I am happy with the colors in it. So now, my practice pieces are done and I hope I can retain the lessons learned.


Back to the UFOs. A local quilter gave me a box of Insul-bright for making heat resistant potholders. I joined a swap requiring a project made from one FQ. I just received a craft-quality FQ that is fine for this, and so tried my hand at simple potholders.

As I worked on them, I wondered who actually baked in my family, and found a pattern for micro-bowl holders that I think would work better.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

UFO Therapy

When I decided to work on, perhaps finish or at least bring to a closer step to being done, I didn't know what that all meant. While I was last at my sewing machine with the Seminal Border for Seasons, it struck me that it was like getting involved in a relationship. 


If you don't legalize it, you can opt out of things get bad. However, if you do put it into a legal status, then you are in it until you figure out the next step.

With quilting, & how this UFO works, all I did was to say I was going to do these all during 2017. I finished a lot of them already & was happy, relieved even, to have them done. Now there are 10 'official' UFOs on my list, plus four quilts I want done to ship out by Thanksgiving week. 

Of course, I have added new projects so am not tunnel focused. But right now, I am dragging my feet and avoiding the projects just like I did when I first set them aside. I am not sure how to find the energy or drum up the passion when I feel like I am done being a drudge to it. 

The Shadow work in my course says you have to face it and become aware of what it is doing to you when it is an unconscious complex or neurosis. Having any issues under the surface of your conscious thoughts is what gets a person into trouble. You can get triggered by whatever is unhealed without notice. Then, no one understands what is going on for you. Not you. Not anyone around you.


I 'legalized' my work with UFOs for the year by a commitment to completing them. I need to keep working on them even though its not fun right now. One day at a time, one step at a time. I finished the detail work on the Seminole border. Next it needs trimming to make ready for the small side borders.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dragon Mug Rug

I have been working on another three mug rugs, and this one is for my youngest Granddaughter. She got that lovely wolf quilt and so this is a complement to her birthday gift.

What I have learned is that too many small points on an applique get lost when I do them on my machine. This is fine, not extraordinary, but fine. 

I keep working on the two side Seminole borders for the Seasons quilt. Its a lot of small piecing and because there is a lot of variety in how people make their mystery quilts, there was only a suggestion as to how many squares would be needed. I think there will be a lot leftover, but also think the project will be close to done soon.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A New Week

I took the weekend off from quilting. Saturday was Earth Day and there was a Poppy Festival in Lancaster. It's an hour drive from here. Two hours of walking without finding benches. And then another hour drive back home. Hot sun. I bought a fruit frozen drink that carried me through. 

I worked on the next round of mug rugs and will post a photo of them when they are completed. I found silhouettes, put the iron-on stuff onto fabric, and cut them out. I wasn't happy with one of them, so found a different pattern.  

The last BOM for the row by row Seasons quilt was released. It is a Seminole pattern that I am actually doubling in width. The pattern uses just one row of 2.5" squares joined with two of the background. I had this green batik I bought some time ago that had a strange pattern on it so it hasn't been used. I looked for more images & ideas and instead of making the border 3 squares wide, I am making it 5 wide. There is enough fabric to add a complete border for the entire top. It will take awhile to complete.

My batting order arrived too, but will remain in its shipping box until the time is right.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spirit Guide Mug Rugs

In an effort to learn more about machine applique and quilting, I made an offer on Facebook to 'friends' that I would make mug rugs for the first three to reply in a PM. Of course, a few did, more replied to the post and even more 'liked' it without an actual response. Two, rather than give Animal Spirit Guides, named JC. 


I made three. One Wolf and 2 Dragonflies. Wolf symbolizes sharp intelligence, an appetite for freedom, and a deep connection with instincts. Dragonfly is often associated with change & transformation, adaptability, joy & the lightness of being. There is also an alignment with fairies.

The challenge is going to be a Pomeranian.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Solstice to Solstice #17 & 18

This is a mystery quilt that is being made of Fall scraps. I finished block #17, which is in Section C in the pattern. I put it in Section C and feel done with that part of the work for now.


Over time, the mystery quilts have frustrated me and well as delighted me. Each block has a name & this one is Spring Feverwhy I do not know.


What is different about this mystery quilt is that the facilitator has been giving assembly instructions a little at a time. This makes it so much easier. It will end up being a bit larger than I usually make, so I can use the help. 

I was a little behind on the block, and #18 was just released called On the Go!, designer's choice. Every single square in it is a HST or half square triangle, something I wanted not to make ever again. Thing is, they have you cut the blocks at 4", make the triangle and then trim it to 3.5". They turned out fine. I joined it to the square to the left with the framing bar.

Next, I made more of the 2.5" squares for several of the frames. Then. Opps!!! I switched the lower blocks when they got pieced, so now, I need to unsew that seam and turn it so the newest block is to the right. Does it matter? Maybe. I will switch it to be sure.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finish Or Let Be UFO?

I joined 14 rows of 10 blocks into 7 sections.

And then I got scared.
No kidding, and I don't know why. I pressed the sections & checked seams. There are three kinds of 9-patch blocks. One is the traditional 4/5 Tic Tac Toe. One is three fabrics altered diagonally. And one is a colorway, meaning they were selected as they were colorized in the scrap bin. It would take a bit to find them once now it is finished with as many blocks as there are. 

So why be scared?

It suddenly got to be a heavy project, both weight and emotionally, and I thought I could leave it for another time. Then the thought of leaving another UFO seemed silly.  

I considered all the reasons that I wanted to leave it for another time, letting it remain in UFO status. If the reason for completing UFO's is to finally bring them to the finish, then why was there so much resistance? Even Fear? Whatever was going on was happening in my mind.

It measures 71 x 99 and can be either added to or subtracted from to fit a quilt top. I've put a note-to-self on it so it is ready for either me to finish or someone else if happen-stance happens. <G>

I know that my Jungian Psych class with Shadow work is stirring up a lot of life events that I wanted to keep hidden. To even get in touch with them means to spend some time in solitude.

I haven't been doing that with my quilts just because my mind races so much in various stages of making a quilt. I elect to either listen to audiobooks or lectures, or watch movies, just so I can avoid the thoughts from surfacing. It helps me keep good energy going into the quilt project.

The next section of the 4-part series starts on May 15 and is called Albedo or Lightening. It might lighten things up or take me on another ride into my consciousness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Making Things Whole Again

My former SisterInLaw saw my photo of the 3" scraps laid out for the next step and commented to me how much quilting is like therapy, and how important it is to realize that we are in the act of making things whole again. 

She is recovering from breast cancer, chemo, the death of her Husband and a move out of state to live near one of her Daughters. She used to quilt but probably isn't any more.

I got outside, before coffee, to pull a bucket of weeds and got three of them, most from the herb garden, and some dead plant material from around the AC next to the house. (Miner's Leaf Lettuce). I think about someone else taking over this property and if I don't get it in shape where it is low to no maintenance, a new owner might pay to have a lot of it removed.

I've pinned and pieced almost all the rows to this 3" scrap piece. More to pin and piece, then all of it goes to the iron for pressing, and once again the pinning and piecing to make it whole. I feel good about working on the UFO's in my closet. How many times do I say that?

I realize that I am in some sort of mind set these days that focuses on what I leave behind and how in order I want to leave what I have behind. Is it a neurosis? It may be part of the Shadow work I am doing as part of my course work.

In any case, it is my project for the year, and one I chose. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rows to Go

I've spent all last week sorting, pinning, piecing and pressing the 3" squares in my scrap bin that was overflowing. I couldn't close the small container, and this 3" size is not used in quilt patterns, so it had to go for something.

Right now, there are 14 rows of 10 blocks each, and one left over. That means I've put together 141 blocks! At first I tried laying them down with a plan, and gave that up like I did trying to make traditional 9-patches. Its just there. I am going to pin piles of 10 together and join them how they are without much of a plan for this and that. I will be happy to make this a back to an up and coming quilt project.

This was a UFO on my to-do list. I felt like one of those long-ago women who made scrap quilts out of old shirts and dresses or flour sacks. I remembered quilts I had made, and thought about the person who got them. It was a sweet experience.

I know there are more bins to go through and make scrappy tops, but once I finish this piece, I need to move onto another UFO project.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Whiteness

The first of the 4-part series for the Jung course is ending this month. They offered a sizable discount to pay & register for the next three parts. The discount provided another layer to the choice. Sigh. I felt like the Shadow was so intense & was still working on the applications. As I read the PR on the next section, I wondered how it applied to me. After more thought this morning, I signed up for it. 


The next section which is called Albedo, or Whiteness, starts in a month from today. I never heard the word before, yet it is a measure for reflectance or optical brightness and is used for endless sciences to measure brightness, to measure snow melting and solar heat. I am sure to learn more than I than I conceive about it.

I went to the fabric store to buy pieces for the FQ swaps I am in. And then I ordered 3 packs of batting online. Wow! I spent a small fortune today! I am home now to continue joining those smaller squares. I've decided to continue with this project until there are enough blocks to join and make into one lap quilt size piece. There are at least 1/3 more blocks to make.

I chose some blocks from the 4" bin, and think I want to cut more scraps from what needs cutting.There are a lot of scraps in my closet, and it just takes time. 

Whiteness. Albedo. Its so interesting that most of the fabric leftovers that were donated to me were darker. Time for me to bring on the whiteness.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fighting Creative Block

Our culture doesn't always teach us how to say good-bye without engaging in a lot of trauma drama.

Even when it comes to worn-out tools.

It surprised me that I was able to make more 9-patch sets from a second search through the 3" Scrap Bin for a total of 71 blocks. Now, it seems, that I might have to get more creative for the remaining 1/3.


One simple challenge is my metal straight pins, and like any blade, they need to be sharp to function properly. I've been tossing those bent, or those too dull to pierce fabric. But the balance of the pins are still in use. I am holding on for no good reason. I haven't been able to just throw them away.

Another challenge, right now, is that I don't wanna. Whine. Working with a bin like this is giving me a sense of accomplishment without having to think about the UFO's and other 2017 quilting projects. OF COURSE, I am selecting colors that match for the 9-patches. And counting. 4's & 5's. Counting is good. I just don't want to think about how to finish this project beyond what is in the bin. It feels like I am a robot going through the steps without feeling a single thing.


These 71 need trimming to a common size, pressing and checking seams. I made a third pass through the bin & pulled out three of a kind. There was enough to make 28 more units. I don't have a plan for what comes next. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

3" Scrap Bin

Anyone who says the 9-Patch block is easy hasn't done it. As I wrote in my last post, it has been hard for me to think about quilting. The sun was out this morning, so I got out to pull 3 buckets of weeds & dead plant material to fill up the trash container for the week.


Anytime a creative person is up against a wall, or is blocked, there are options. One is to give up. Another is to find a way through, over or around it all.

It is no joke for a creative person to struggle with whatever presents the barrier. Whether they are a writer, an artist, a lover-parent-or adult child, the creative barrier or block is crippling and quite real. A creative barrier can happen emotionally, mentally or physically to stop you from being creative. The halt can be for a few minutes, weeks or a lifetime. The longer it takes to get over it, the more time builds to prevent you from returning.

OH!! Its like those UFO's.


The first thing I did in the studio to climb over the wall was to work with the 3" scrap bin, sort them into colors, and to create piles of 4's & 5's for the blocks. That was easier sitting on the love seat watching a video. It didn't seem like quilting but more a mindless activity.

I tried to match groupings of 4 squares of fabric with 5 other squares to make the block interesting or at least have contrast. Next, came the pinning into rows of 3's, alternating to create the traditional tic-tac-toe look. Then I took rows to the machine, stitching first the rows, and pressing. Next came pinning of the rows, piecing and pressing. They need a final press and will get laid out again in rows. I made 37 blocks that may finish at about 7" square each. They all need a quick press & trimming, and that is my next step. It would take 108 squares at 7.5" square to make up a piece that measures 67.5 x 90. That means I need 71 more blocks for that size and more if it is going to be a back for another quilt. The 3" Scrap Bin is still rather full, which surprises me.

Some squares are a little larger than 3" and need trimming also. So, as a way to release myself from the creative juices needed to this fabric art for design quilting, the rest of my time this week will be working behind the scenes as a resource analyst and consultant. Hah! Isn't that fancy??? 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hitting the Wall

It hasn't happened too often for me, and usually doesn't last long. I hit the quilting wall, and not to shop, but to stop. The Jungian Psych course helped me get in touch with Shadow energy, and along with about 100 other participants, it also helped me see that Shadow happens to everyone. There is a reason for it, some work to be done, and then you go on.


My studio floor has a pile of things I pulled out for my last few projects. Rather than feel shame or other angst, its a matter of living with it until I want to move on from it. And this pile is not so big a deal. I actually got it all put away and floors vacuumed in less than 45 minutes. I cut some pieces while watching some videos on You Tube. It is hard for me to not be quilting. In one way, I feel like I am letting myself down and foregoing my commitments.


I will not get more done in the studio today, and I am ok with that. My work of spirit is not just what I can create and is what I create in myself. 

I am taking time out to read SACRED CONTRACTS by Caroline Myss before going on with my next project. Yes, it is based on Jung's Archetypes & expands his list of 12 to 70. I read & used this book before as both student & teacher. It is time for me to revisit the material with the new perspective of Shadow work.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

And Now For Hand Work

After getting the fabric boxes ready, my attention turned to the Mug Rug Swap. I've been listening to some of the end-of-course suggested links for the Psych course and then they looped into more lectures by Manley P. Hall, whom I love. 


The horsey mug rug is turning out just beautifully. The silhouette is dark purple and is on lime green. The mane got laid out a bit farther from the head, and I like it a lot. I looked at piecing a 6" square to the side of it, but the horse takes up more than half the desired length. This almost makes it look like the horse is running through the trees. While the green and pink fabric is just a shade off the solid green, it works and will blend more once the binding goes on. The horse is machine quilted and then there is an echo stitch around it and some of the flowers. 

One of the boxes is finished, and while they are not going out right away, they may go to swaps. I actually do not like the print for them. Just a little too big. Practice. 

There is a chill in the air this morning and I plan to wait a little while before getting out to weed. I am seeing the work make a difference and would like to buy some new plants (Lavender and Bee Balm. I also see that more mulch is needed. This is a good time of the year, seeing what didn't make it through Winter, and knowing what is desired for Summer. Our Spring seems to feel shorter because of the chill in the mountains.

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Week

My Jungian Psych course finishes up the end of this month. The title of the first of the 4-part series is Nigredo, which is a metaphor for the dark night of the soul, when the individual confronts the shadow within. I've printed off the applications for each lesson & lecture, knowing that I could spend the rest of my life working with them. Other participants plan to take a break with the work & process what they have uncovered. I've had more than half a century of therapy (on & off) and also Jung was part of my undergrad studies, so I am familiar with a lot of the concepts. I must say, however, that it is hard, hard work to be in the shadow. Its so much more intense than SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Partner information was released for the mug rug swap for one of the groups I am in. My partner expressed a love of horses on her profile application. When I found her on FB, I saw a few photos of the area she lives in and some of horses. I could not tell if she raises any, or just has a deep longing to ride and be around them. This is the silhouette I plan to use and will machine appliqué. Next comes finding fabrics in the colors she likes. This is the kind of swap where you send to one person and receive from another. Facilitators for the swap are asking questions of us so we get more guidance. At this stage, and because my partner is not answering them with her preferences, I am sticking with the silhouette.


And then I worked on the next step for the fabric boxes, measuring and sewing up the sides. Now for the hand work of clipping threads, closing seam sections,  and adding buttons. I went through the first process of making the sandwich a little too fast and discovered a couple of seams that were too close, leaving a raw edge. Not sure what I will do to correct that on these, but have noticed that I cannot go too fast with it. The biggest one is made from a FQ, so is 7" square by about 4" high. 

I think that the aspect of my perfectionism rears up quite often in the work that I do, and when I don't reach 'the mark', I tend to beat myself up about it. Mistakes are easy to make for a number of reasons that could be beyond my control. Yet, because they are my projects, I take full responsibility. Because of my health issues, I know that I can make mistakes, so I am not fooling myself to think it is outside my control.

Also, I forget that most things are not meant to last forever. People, fabric or projects. Not to justify outside-of-me failure, but to recognize that I am using fabrics that came to me aged. I don't know if they were washed, or how long they sat on shelves or in bins. So as I do the hand work, I WILL examine them critically so I know what has been done.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Beginning Boxes

There are a number of 10" squares in my stash so I thought about making those simple 2-sided boxes. So this is the start.

This pic is how the boxes look after machine sewing and quilting. I find that concentric lines work best for me. Next will be pinning and sewing the corners to form the box. There will be hand sewing to get inner seams to lay flat. Then, last is the buttons on all four flaps.

I did pull two buckets of weeds and there are so many more that are growing taller than the more welcomed plants. I need to water the East Garden and get into the South Secret Garden Path. Additionally, this is the last month of my Jungian Psych class and so I have been writing and reading.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Checkerboard Pieces

###### I did not post this on Friday because I left at 4:30 am to drive to Bakersfield, where I caught a train for Yosemite National Park, and then boarded the in-park bus. I spent 4 hours in the park before reversing the trip to get back to the car after Midnight, and then had an hour drive in the dark through the mountains. 

They don't allow cars in the park. You park and then ride the in-park bus to the various stops to paths or museums. This makes it a very nice trip with hours on the train riding instead of in the car driving. For as much time as I spent on this third train trip to the park, there is so much more to see and I would do it again. Each time has been during a different season. Its smart to go off season to avoid the high traffic times where everything is congested.

It rained all day and the mist over the mountains and water on the windows made it impossible to take pics with my little camera. I love the experience of being there and I guess its not for sharing. 

The Solstice to Solstice Challenge quilt I've got going uses some checker boarding, a couple of blocks and some framing in places for its assembly. Checkerboards use two colors, so with a scrappy quilt, it becomes more a matter of what you have left and how it fits together. Mine is more of a medium /dark effect.


This is my first block using that method. The quilt pattern calls for the blocks to be assembled in Sections. This block goes in Section B. There are some frames to add, and then the various blocks can be assembled to finish off this Section.

The next one goes over one block and now that Section is finished. In one HUGE way, I am grateful for the BOM concept because there are endless steps to these blocks and my guess is that they might very easily become UFO's without guidance.

It took me awhile to piece the largest Section for the center. Now that I know the final layout, it makes it a little easier to make it come together. For one thing, using a theme of scraps for this kind of quilt makes much more sense. Some are okay with random, others not so. 

There will be Sections added to each side and to the bottom.

This is another block that gets framed with  checker board strips. More pieces border along it as well, yet only after the block above it gets finished.

I kept working on these additional pieces for the various Sections until I was just exhausted. Then I wondered why I felt compelled to finish it right away. The project goes until Summer Solstice in June. There is plenty of time. I don't even have a back planned for it and its going to be around 86" square, which is HUGE for me to baste and quilt.

While I was on the trip, I had time to think of this quilt, what is still in my closet, and came up with an idea for that box of 3" squares. At one time, I wanted to make up quilts to have at the ready whenever someone went into crisis and needed comfort. I am not always a fan of the 9-patch quilts, yet, here is this container jammed pack full of 3" squares. To that end, I am going to start pinning 9-patches in order to use them up. Like the box of strips that I made into squares, they will become one of the sides to a comfort quilt.

While on one hand, there are endless patterns available for scrappy quilting, right now, I need to make more than a dent in what is there. I want to watch for other BOMs but will also spend time making quicker-finishes. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#16 Solstice to Solstice Block

I love this block challenge. Block patterns come out twice a month & it will make quite a large quilt. I am using the Fall/Harvest scraps to make it. One of the lessons I take away from doing the BOM quilts is that our whole well-being like that of the finished quilt top; it often hinges in the present moment. Like the mystery quilts, we never know how our lives will turn out. Like the mystery quilts, we hope that the pieces we put together somehow coordinate and fit. I've found that worrying about the outcome doesn't get me anywhere.

This is #16 and is called a Friendship Block. The light is part of a FQ I ended up buying to fill in for the lights. For whatever reason, when people give me scraps, there are few if any, lights or solids. I see in the layout that there are borders that look like they might be more of the scraps in a sort of checkerboard look. We are to cut (167) 2.5" in lights and darks, so I started working on that.There are also some framing pieces for the various sections, and as far as I can see, there is a light-medium-dark guide for cutting them too. My guess is that I will need more lights if I don't plan correctly. Only two of the main sections are completed, so I don't want to take the chance of using up scraps that will be needed in the blocks. There are six more 12"s and two larger blocks left to make. It is exciting.

Meanwhile, I took another overflowing bin and am cutting into my sizes. Once one of the sized containers is overflowing, I will start joining pieces in a simple manner. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Neighborhood House Back

I got it into my head to use up the scraps for quilt backs some time ago. It saves resources, and yet it is a fairly large amount of work. Some people make quilt TOPS that look like this.

It came out just fine and will look perfect as the other side to the Neighborhood House Block quilt that will go to the youngest of my Great-Nieces. It is getting put away with a note-to-self for a finish next year. I am still working on the others and traditionally like to send all the quilts made for members of a household to them at one time.

Quilting larger projects gets harder these days when the windows are open. Once the AC goes on, it will be chilly enough inside to think about the bigger projects again. Honestly, my time is leaning toward outside gardens. All the rain we finally got made weeds shoot up and there is so much to do. I pulled buckets-full and seemed to only get a couple of square feet done on the North garden.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fabric Box Nest

The Winner Take All (WTA) game for March on a Swap Bot group was for nests. I made a fabric box as my gift to send. I have a few found feathers I may tuck in and will look for some other birdy things.

I enjoy playing some games on the group forums, and this one (WTA) is often set up for a group where, when you sign up, you make a personal comment or tell a story about what the theme means to you.

I looked at last month's winner's profile to get clues as to what to make and send, and came up with this. Participants can interpret the theme however they want. It is made with two 10" squares that were part of a gift, and four sparkly flower buttons, also part of a gift. Its not Robin's Egg Blue but is Spring-y looking. The batting is also a scrap. 

I remember thinking how cute these were and have made many as gifts a couple of years ago. My Alaska-Cousin got the first one and her response to it was quite positive, & gave me courage to make them for others. I think hers is still my favorite. It was Wintery and also a more chilly-looking blue. What's that they say about your first? Giggles. They do take a few hours to make, so I might just make up a couple for a birthday gift coming up for my younger Son's Lady.

I also worked on the scrappy quilt back project and have joined many of the blocks into rows, and rows into a larger piece. Maybe one will be done by tomorrow. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Scrappy Backs

I found myself resisting quilting the last couple of days. I think it is all about finishing those UFO's. It is more work than one realizes. Not so much the physical work as much as psychological. So hard to explain. Maybe other creative people know what I mean. It is a good lesson about finishing.

What I did was to pull out the small container of scrap pieces that I started forming into blocks, with the intention of making into scrappy backs. I know that a back is best if it hangs over the top by 3" all around. Quilting will move the pieces, which has happened for me. These scrappy backs are easily cut off and tossed. I will join what is in the container and trim them to rows and then put everything back in with a note to self about what comes next.

I also worked on the scrappy totes. This one is finished to the point of needing straps. The second one is cut out and waiting for machine quilting. Again, I am not really inspired to work on them today and am ok with setting it aside.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

New Month, New BOM Releases

I've been cultivating youthfulness of my spirit lately. When I look in the mirror and see the age lines showing up, I have come to accept this vision as as a fact of life. One healthy option seems to be cultivating a youthful spirit. For one thing, I have a floral wreathe to wear when I go into town and a new very bright and sparkly Indian-style skirt. AND I went to the circus Friday Night. That's what I mean. I think you have to step out of the comfort of a cozy chair and warm room to laugh a little, whether it is at yourself or with a crowd.

Each month a new block is issued for the BOM groups I am in.This is from the Gratitude / Harvest Solstice to Solstice BOM. The block here is actually 20" square so pieces were larger and it was a 2-color pattern. There was simply not enough of the light to do it so gold was added.

This next one shows 4 of the blocks to the Rising Stars BOM I might rename Pretty in Pink. There is a lot of the Paris fabric to what I gathered for a pink/gray color choice, though serving as more a complementary than a pop type of fabric. I want to keep it scrappy and love the variety of squares and color choices. My plan is to use some of the Paris fabric in each block, and perhaps use the white frost for the stars wherever possible. With eight blocks to go, I am already in love with it.

So far, I have a couple of BOM tops completed, and plan to buy batting to finish only four quilts going out this year: Debi's Blue Wheelchair quilt, her husband Tim's Seasons quilt, my godson Tim's Grinchmas quilt, and my younger Son's Cat quilt.  

I put dates on the sidebar projects so that I could stay on track with them. My goal in 2017 was to either finish or move the UFO projects to a more finished state. 

It took me more than a day to do the two BOM squares between selecting fabrics to a finish press. As I worked on them, I recalled a couple of things about doing BOMs. First of all comes the commitment for each month, and then the variety is not always something I might chose on my own and certainly gives me an opportunity to learn more. I am able to shop from the closet in very creative ways. Because I am following someone else's plan, there is less thinking about it and more doing. I know I like the thinking part, but honestly I have come to love the mystery and the BOM as well.

While the BOMs and Mystery quilts are appealing, at this point, I need to work on finishing the UFO projects first. I do plan to use some of the pre-cut squares I have to make totes until there are enough of them in my trunk to replace the oldies. I bought a drop cloth from Home Depot and will use it as lining for the two I am making right now. I don't usually wash my totes and would like to make these both durable and disposable.