Playing with the layout

I had not planned for this post, but with the marathon of sewing I have been doing, I just had to share.  I do not know if this is how things will come together because it is a mystery, but here is what I think is part of the On Ringo Lake Mystery quilt.

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This has been a very whirly adventure.  I hope this is the layout as I really like it.

For those of you following along in the mystery quilt, today she released clue 7….YIKES.  I am still working that but am caught up except for 7.  🙂

 

The Talley of 2017, The Wish for 2018

In review this past year, I made it out alive! haha!  This past year had many challenges in the health aspect.  The older I get the more I seem to have to deal with health issues.  Whether it is myself, or someone else, it tends to interrupt regularly scheduled life.

So this past year I had a very slow start.  I did not start feeling better until late summer.  But once I started feeling better, the flood gates of progress happened.

I am doing a count now…..and the final count is almost 10.  The almost portion is the one I have ready for binding on my sewing table now.  It will be completed before Jan 1st.

This is the blue jelly roll quilt I made from strips out of my stash.njrd2

I quilted it with what I called an ocean wave like pattern.

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I put these cute froggies on the back.

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I rebelled against what I have been taught.  I have been taught to use the same thread on the top and bottom.  I have deviated from this plan.   Different colors were used on the top vs the bottom.  Dark on the top, light on the bottom.  With a different thread weight in my bobbin vs my top thread has made a huge difference in quality of my stitches this year.  I will probably stick with the thread weight change as it is my biggest breakthrough for the year.

The year in review.  If you have followed along with me this year you have already seen all of these quilts.  Nothing new in this slide show.  These are my best of for 2017 or, er, should I say all of my 2017.  I am linking up with Meadow Mist Designs:  Best of 2017 Linky Party.

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My last year count was 16 but most of those were baby quilts.  This year I had a couple large quilts to keep all to myself so those obviously take longer.

Most of all these finished happened after mid year, if I would have felt good all year my number could have been doubled easily.

My wish list for accomplishments next year….

  • I have a string quilt I have started piecing.  I would like to get that pieced but not necessarily quilted.
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To this flat, ironed, neat, trimmed, scrappy string block
  • On Ringo Lake is still in pieces but I am caught up and ready for Friday.  I assume there will be a clue on Friday and then the layout on the first to start out the new year.  I would like to get this one quilted and completely finished by the end of 2018.
  • I have a tumbler leader/ender that I would like to see completed by years end.  I am so close to having the top complete.

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  • I have the Oh Sheet quilt top completed and I will get this quilted.  I am not sure if I will be doing it or if I will send it off.

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  • There is one baby quilt I will be making, I am waiting to hear from the parents what they are having before I sew a stitch.  I could make more, its all in the water you know.  The sex of the baby will determine the plan.  So this quilt right now is TBD or to be determined.
  • I have a couple of UFOs that I would like to bring to a more completed state.  If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t ah well.  Here are the starts to these UFOs.
  • I will always be on the lookout for a great tasting recipe to try.  I just made biscuit drops this morning.  If you are interested in this recipe please click here and visit my other blog.

I am planning ahead, I usually never have a plan.  Winging it is my style.  However this year I am trying a different approach.  I hope this allows me to smooth the wrinkles and bumps in life as well.  I am joining Quilting JetGirl’s linky party to Plan for 2018.

Not only do I hope I have much success with finishes next year, I hope you do as well! May your next year be filled with challenges, progress, and quilting prosperity!  Happy New Year!

 

 

Whew!

So 2017 is coming to a close.  What I noticed at a very young age, there is a let down after the holidays.

Lots of shopping and stress, and people surround you wherever you go.  All the troubles you suffered through come and go with just one day.  After that day, you kind of sit down and say “whew”.

The custom when I was young, the tree would stay up until after the first of the new year for good luck.  All the decorations and garlands are put away to be gazed upon the following the years.  After you have all this festiveness, it goes back to being barren.  Even the streets you drive, the lights and decorations are put away and everything is brown from the fall, barren.

There is a let down for me after Christmas.  Some years have bigger let downs than others.  Sometimes I think this is the reason for depression because holiday cheer was crammed down our throats from simple holiday greeting cards to holiday Christmas tunes on the radio.  A let down.

It will be another 365 days before this event happens again, slowly gaining momentum until it arrives.  And you wonder where in the heck the year went and realize time flies.

With time flying it brings me to the reason for this post (gosh I seem to babble, sorry about that).  I am still sewing along with Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery quilt on Ringo lake.  Friday our clue came out.  I did manage to make one brown and neutral flying geese, but that is all I got accomplished.  I was too busy playing catch up with clues 3 and 4.  So all my diamonds and half square chocolate gems are counted and caught up.  Another Whew moment.

Today I am enjoying cruising along with this process as in step 2 just utilizing the brown instead of the orange.  Oh I also made pumpkin cupcakes topped with browned butter streusel.  Delicious!  Interested in the recipe, please go to my other blog:  https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com

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Here are my finger pressed units on the ironing board ready for a marathon of pressing.

And below here they are pressed flat.  I really like the reddish browns.  Not sure what it is with some cameras but they really turn the reds, red.  But they are all truly brown.

I am getting sew excited as this mystery quilt is coming to a close.  I wonder if we are ready to put it together next week, or if there is still another clue.  Either way I will be on time and on schedule.

Since today is Christmas and Monday, I will be linking up with this mystery quilt on Tuesday.  It is not to late to start this mystery quilt, but you now have the benefit of seeing how a good part of the pieces are coming together and can change the colors with assurance.  Click here for all the instructions up to this point.  I still look forward to looking at all those pieces in sew many different fabrics.  When this is over, it will be another let down for me.  I will not have that to look forward to on Friday’s.  But I have made a huge dent in my stash and I will snap out of it.   I have a quilt that needs to be quilted as the baby is due in Feb.  Also, friends of ours were supposed to find out what they were having on Christmas Day, what a neat idea to leave the reveal for the whole family on the biggest day of the year.  So I have this quilt to brainstorm about once the major clue is revealed haha.

I will probably post one more time as a review of my accomplishments, favorites, and a talley so be looking for that post soon.  Since Christmas is over, I am wishing you a Happy New Year!  And thank you for reading my blog!

 

Chocolate Gems – ORL Mystery

Following along on the On Ringo Lake Mystery or as I call it ORL, this week we are combining our browns and turquoise.  I have named this half block the chocolate gem block as turquoise is a gem and my favorite color paired with decadent chocolate browns.

I sewed some chocolate gems Friday when I got home from work.  Yesterday I went to Dallas for some Christmas shopping.  What I noticed, traffic was light, but lines were long.  It looked like the masses were carpooling for Christmas shopping.

Last week, building my diamond blocks, I did not find completion.  So I am still sewing on clue number three.

Here I am with my scrappiness ready for some binge ironing.  Notice the one block.  Yes my ironing board has this turquoise fabric in the cover.  I ran out of the aluminized fabric and this is a simple strip on its rear end.

As a quilter, each week I also have oopses or blooper blocks.  How about you?

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One of these is just sewn wrong.  One is actually cut wrong.  I have plenty of fabric.  I learn from it and go on.

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Pressed and ready for the shoe box, which by the way is almost completely full.  My son is getting a pair of boots for Christmas so I am going to commandeer the box.

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I had to add to my variety so I searched through my scraps and have a few more browns to add to this block.  I am not sure how old some of these fabrics are.  I acquired them earlier this year and am glad I did.  I keep pulling from this lot for ORL.

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I am thinking they just don’t design fabric like they used to.  The quality of the prints are sew much more calico.

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And introducing my sew steady table!   I bought this on Black Friday as it was bargain priced.  I am currently using it for piecing, but I really purchased it for free motion quilting.  I do have a quilt, all pin basted ready to go, but I am focusing on these chocolate gems.

Sadly my dual machine is acting up.  The touch screen will not work after the machine is on for a long period of time.  I can only assume there is a cooling fan that is not working as it works just fine when just turning on.  I am holding off purchasing new feed dogs for this machine.  So why did my feed dogs wear out?  Well, this machine is 20 years old now and yes I run over pins which contributes to wearing of the feed dogs, but the main reason why they have worn out is my 1/4 inch piecing foot is made with a black metal edge that is always cheese grating on one side of my feed dogs.   I cannot use the credit card short cut for 1/4 inch pieces as it would cover my drop in bobbin plate and my feed dogs themselves are too wide.  If anyone has a suggestion to get past this issue, I certainly welcome your comments.  I am probably going to start using this machine for FMQ only and will be on the look out for a featherweight.  Anyone willing to part with a featherweight….we should talk.

I am linking up with the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt On Ringo Lake.  I highly recommend looking at everyone’s progress.  I find it mesmerizing looking at all the different color combinations and fabrics pulled for this mystery.  It is not too late to join!

I will be working most of this next week so I am uncertain if I will have a post before Christmas.  So if I don’t make another blog post, have a splendid holiday.  Enjoy food, family, and friends!  Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Please remain seated for this brief intermission

As On Ringo Lake continues in it’s third week, I am mesmerized by the beauty in each block we make and how perfectly the turn out is.  Last year while working on the QSTs from the Enprovence Mystery, I had lots of waste.  These were the triangle units tried from the HST’s and QST blocks.  Lots of it just went to the scrap tub.  I started regretting not stitching the triangles together at that time.  Now they are currently all separated in that tub and can be used, but the perfect mate is hard to find.

So this year, I told myself I would NOT do this again.  It was stupid of me last year to be so careless.

I am working smarter, not harder!  I am stitching those little bits of scraps I go.  I have made two potholders.  One has already been gifted to it’s new home and I regret I did not take a photo.  But I did on this one!  I counted the pieces in this little jewel.  140 can you believe that?  I deemed with the rest I will make a doll quilt and make it a row quilt at that.  I have always wanted to make one of those so why not do it doll size.  I already have all the pieces before me.

So as I sew each piece of my diamonds/chisels/flying geese gone wrong blocks I am trimming, saving, pinning, and sewing those tidbits making something out of the otherwise waste.

This is the nicest pot holder I have ever made.  I quilted it at a diagonal so it will fold easily around a pot or pan, protecting the hand.  I hope it’s recipient will like it and use it.

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The borders on this potholder were mis-cuts from making my flying geese.  My brain cut these at an inch and a half which is NOT the right size.  I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use those as well.potholderbOff to the side is the small QST’s I am salvaging from my scraps.  These blocks finish at .75 of an inch.  I did not measure the HSTs but they are small as well.

Through my many years, there were really bad years where I struggled greatly.  The dollar spent too fast and the earning was meager to get it.  I learned much from this time.  We never went hungry.  I was always trying to figure out what to make with the ingredients I had.  My character building years do not make me fear of losing my job or my income.  If that were to happen I am confident we would not go hungry.  This meager mentality parlez’ed into quilting.  At the time going through that tough period, it was so hard and you always felt beaten down.  But I was happy.  I am still happy, and even more happy that this has molded and sculpted the person I am now and it is behind me.  I feel sorry for those who do not have some point in their life where they struggle a bit.  Those years have the most take-aways.

So in reflection, I am glad I have the time to spare to stitch these little pieces of cloth together to make something that might mean something to someone else.  But most importantly it means something to me!  Yet another chapter in life presented itself and is wrapped up only to continue to the next.

Have a great week and thank you for reading my blog!

Messy me and Finger Pressing Techniques

When I get sewing, passion tucked in each stitch, I keep my sewing/cutting area clean by a swipe of the hand to the floor.  Most of what you see in this picture is file 13 bound, there are a few meager pieces to go to the scrap tub.

remnentsIt looks as if it was strewn about by a tornado, doesn’t it.  I cleaned up quickly with a swipe of my hands and the vacuum.  Earlier this week it was littered with dog ear trimmings from the bonus HST’s and QST’s.

I am trudging on with determination for the mystery quilt sponsored by Bonnie Hunter.  This is week three.  If you are interested in seeing how easy this is, visit her On Ringo Lake Tab and it will give fabric requirements, and sizes and great tutorial how to’s as well as the link up pages to see other’s peoples progress with her/their techniques.

During last Sunday’s link up someone commented how my seams were pressed so flat.  For those of you who may think your iron is substandard because you have not the money to buy an expensive one, save your money and try a different technique.

My sewing corner is in the living room and there are times when I cannot run the iron constantly.  In the summer months here in Texas we have the 220 dryer and the 220 ac window unit as well as the 110 window unit running to keep the house cool on a 60 amp box.  If I am running all of these things at once, I have to turn something off to get the iron going.  So my iron time is brief and I make the most of it.

First I finger press all my seams.  This is easy and costs you only your fingernail tips and really does not hurt those at all.  I have never had a failure with finger pressing.  There are other expensive gizmos you can purchase.  Save your money and use the best tools you have, your hands.

A while back I did a small post about a pressing tool.  You can buy these tools and they run about 18 dollars.  Save the 18 and for 5 you can have a set for yourself as well as a friend.  This post talked about taking a dowel rod and cutting it down the middle to make two half moon pieces and then cutting those into desired lengths.  The math behind this tools is simple.  You normally press things on your ironing board.  If you press your seams on a dowel rod, you are pressing them further than a flat surface, or further than 180 degrees.  This tool works great.  For more on this read visit the blog post here.

I have taken a video of finger pressing and formatted snippets into jpeg format for the viewer that is available.  It is not hard to finger press on small pieces of fabrics.  I highly recommend trying it.

 

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I have snapped some before and after photos as well as pressing of all the small pieces.

pressinggeese1These geese have all been finger pressed, and stacked in their piles awaiting the seam iron.  Using the steam iron on an after finger pressed seam is best because it does not distort the fabric in any direction.

pressinggeese2I just laid the steam iron on this one, removed the iron, placed another block on top, and pressed, until I had a whole row of geese overlapping one another.  The bottom ones really get the best pressing.  But they all press beautifully.

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Below is a geese unit and one of the corners is flannel.   Yup, usually pressing flannel to a normally woven cotton piece of fabric can be obtuse (oh isn’t that punny), and the naked eye can easily tell which is not homogenized.  Can you tell which one is flannel?

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If you guessed the plaid corner, you would be correct.  Using every little scrap counts and I am my own quilt police and deem flannel a usable fabric in the On Ringo Lake quilting mystery.  🙂

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Above is a chisel block that is finger pressed, below is pressed with a steam iron.  Nice and flat.

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If you are interested in learning how to make this chisel block, visit quiltville.blogspot.com and it will give exact directions.

Linking up for Mondays Mystery Quilt On Ringo Lake Link up Party.

Well this concludes my post for the week.  I am hanging in there with the On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt.  I have not gotten an exact piece count on the flying geese from last week but I know I am very close.  I have cut all my orange strips and have also cut a gob of squares to sew on for this week.  I can’t wait to see what Friday brings.  Are we going to see this same block again?  Perhaps in brown’s and turquoise?  This is my guess.  Is it right?  We will certainly find out.

2 Squares Plus 1 Rectangle = Geese

So I am cruising along with Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery quilt called On Ringo Lake and we are in the second week!  I highly recommend if you have never done a mystery quilt, to bust your stash and visit her website and sew that stash up.  It is not too late to start this and you will learn so much from the normal things that you are already doing.

This week I got to really exercise my new ruler called The Folded Corners Ruler.  A couple weeks ago when I got this in, I was binding a quilt and used this ruler to join the beginning and ended of the binding.  Perfection!  So it works for many efforts.  I thought it would be hard to use, naw, no different than any other ruler.  It is just a matter of time before someone does a tutorial on the pineapple block using this ruler.

As you may have guessed by the title of this blog post, we are making flying geese.  I am sewing my neutrals and oranges together.  I just love the scrappiness of this so far.

cuttingflyinggeeseHere is the ruler doing its job.  I hate having to draw the line and then scantly sew on the side of the line.  Not perfection.  This ruler enables both corners of the flying geese to be perfect.  Above I am showing that you just lay the square on the rectangle and cut, sew, plus you have a perfect bonus triangle corner to sew.

I am really utilizing all the scraps with the flying geese step.  I am not going to waste my $10 per yard fabric, heck no.  So I started making bonus half square triangles out of them.  Winner winner chicken dinner, or is it goose dinner?

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These are quite small.  It will fashion nicely as a potholder soon or perhaps a doll quilt.  And then I got smart.  Why not sew them like QSTs?

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I have never put orange into a quilt and am really liking this visual.

And drum roll please……2 squares plus a rectangle equals a flying geese block.

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This leaves me dreaming of the next step when I am no where close to being finished with this one.  A girl can dream, can’t she?

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Linking up for the sooner than Monday, Sunday link-up for On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt.  I am sew excited.  I am no where finished with clue 2 and it has left me hungering for clue 3.  Stay tuned for more mystery quilt action and thanks for visiting my blog….now off to make tamales from scratch.  Be looking for that on my other blog the cookbookproject.