Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End, last UFOs for 2010

Sixteen-Patch and Pinwheels is now finished:

A glimpse of the quilting by Catherine, which doesn't show up on the front at all.  I told her to do a meander, and this was the result!

This is UFO #29 that I finished this year.

And LASTLY, "Difference of Opinion", which is also now quilted and bound:

Do you see the large exclamation point coming down that vertical sashing?  I might just enhance that a little at some time.

Catherine's quilting on these borders followed the geological strata in the batik fabric.

 Bit of the back showing the various pinks and oranges I used up there.

And this is my last UFO finish for 2010, number 30.  Wow, I impressed myself!  My goal was to finish or get rid of two a month.  I wasn't that consistent each month, but I have surpassed the goal of 24.  And, in fact I got rid of some that I didn't count.

I am going to be starting 2011 with 16 UFOs, and only two of those were started in 2010.  I did keep the part of my goal that was to finish all but three 2010 starts.  How on earth did I manage to stick to this idea when I have so often failed?  I guess it helped to put it on my blog, share it with Finn, and even declare it to my quilting bee.

Right now, I'm NOT ready to commit to such a plan for next year!  Finishing more UFOs is going to be in my plan, but not such a push.
Maybe by tomorrow I'll have a plan for 2011.

And on another front, I did finally re-finish the green and purple socks.  The intended recipient chose another pair [I like to offer a choice], so these are now mine, until someone else claims them.


Now that these projects are finished, I am back on the next step of Bonnie Hunter's mystery, "Roll, Roll Cotton Boll".

The directions for joining most of the parts arrived this morning, and I have constructed a few of the first blocks.

Because I chose to substitute blue for pink, and navy for red, I think this quilt will turn out to be acceptable to a male.



Soup from Kate made a warm lunch
Going to spent New Year's at home
Champagne in the fridge
Wishing Good Health to you all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two Bindings

The countdown has started for the end of 2010 and my challenge to finish A LOT of UFOs.  I am at 27 today, but I am binding two quilts that are back from Catherine Martin, my long-arm quilter.

This one has been finished 
and is currently in the dryer, 
preparing itself for a photographic "sitting" tomorrow.

I only managed to sew down one side of this one 
before we had to dress for dinner 
at a fancy-shmancy restaurant here in Grand Rapids, The 1913 Room.

Our friends, Dianne and Ray, found a "buy one entree, get one free" coupon for us, and we are all going together.  Celebrating New Year's Eve one night early, and no crowds on the streets!

So, back to the binding, between the black one and the pink one I'm pretty darn sure that I'm going to have two more completions on the last day of the year.  Hurray!



Friends who share their dinner coupons
Exercise class that got me moving more freely this morning
NPR with classical music, I enjoy it every day

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

RRCB Step 6 completed

Where the 600 HSTs went - into 120 strips of five HSTs!  And then the "threesies" each got a triangular head and tail in brown.  Bonnie Hunter promises that THIS Friday we are going to start really putting all these pieces together.


Another holiday accomplishment:

Second purple sock was finished, so I now have a pair, which I am wearing today.

Off to see "The King's Speech" with Charlie and Jo.



Supplies laid in for New Year's Eve and Day
Sun shining!
Two quilts back from LA quilter can now be finished

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home after Christmas

We're now at home, and glad to have a quiet week ahead!  I got a little Christmas decorating done.

The Christmas duvet cover is on the bed:

A christmas quilt is hanging over the back of Charlie's chair in the den:

And Santa was Soooo good to me!  I received a copy of Tonya's book:

[I made that word "Sing" on the cover.]

And in some free moments I even did some "catch-up" work on Roll, Roll Cotton Boll, Bonnie Hunter's current mystery.  Here is my pile of baggies full of 2" HSTs:

Tonight I am going to start sewing them into 120 sets of five.  I will be able to finish all of this clue during the week, and maybe even finish one more UFO for 2010.



Easy driving to and from St. Louis and Holland, Michigan for different Christmas celebrations.
Lots of yummy food consumed
Jigsaw puzzle put together on Christmas day

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is coming!

While we were visiting Martha and her kids we made the Hobart traditional cut-out cookies, and decorated them the next day with runny frosting and colored sugars.  Here John, Jr. is working on a rooster.

Martha and SaraRachel at work.

Samantha with the LARGE Father Christmas, which always made with the last bunch of dough, which is the toughest to hold out that arm and hand.

We will be a quiet group of five adults having clam chowder before evening church, and then stockings , presents, and "Roast Beast" on Christmas.  Snow on the ground, but none predicted for in the air this year.

My best wishes to all my blog readers for their own holiday celebrations!



Family and food, those are both good things!
Quiet times and festive music.
Trust that God has goodwill towards us and wishes us peace

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Quilting today

Made these cookies and went to my Bee's Winter party with potluck dinner, and Secret Sister reveal.

Maybe I'll get to the sewing machine tomorrow.



Russian Teacakes still my favorite Christmas cookie
Exercise class stretching
Financial business taken care of

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finished borders to EEF

I keep putting off finishing the final borders on "Extra Extra Fancy".  But now they are ON.  And it is 96" x 106".

I certainly had plenty of materials in my Orphan Box.
It will need a King-sized batt.  But I wanted it to really be able to be tucked under the mattress at the foot, and hang down on the sides.  Everything I have made for our queen bed is a little too narrow and a little too short.  This won't be!

Now to see how long the wait will be for Catherine to quilt it.

I'm calling this another UFO finish.  That make 24 for the year, so I have met my personal challenge of "2 a month in 2010".

[But I still have 15 UFOs left.]



Stayed home all day out of the cold
Christmas package of ham arrived
Christmas package of candy arrived
Wrapped up Secret Sister presents

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Party House block

Found an internet site where people are sending in "neighborhood" house blocks, and I remembered that I had this one in my orphan box.  It wasn't big enough for the size they want, so I added two borders.  The plaid is flannel, and the party decorations on the top and bottom made me think that this is the "Party House" in the neighborhood.  The house siding means it's a Quilter's Party House!

Still working on the borders for the Extra Extra Fancy quilt.  I need a few more confetti blocks to put them all the way around.  This HAS to end up big enough for our queen bed, since I like it Sooo much.  Maybe a wool batting.



Fresh bread again
Warm house in the winter
My Sweetie
No worries about Xmas shopping

Friday, December 10, 2010

RRCB Step 4 completed

Here they are, 30 easy-peasy two patch sets of 4, each with four one-patchers in green pinned to them.

Along the bottom is my wonky strip of the leftover one inch cut-offs from the 9" strips.  Let's see, 2" X 4 = 8", but she told us to cut 9".  Of course that is the fudge factor in case of foul-ups.  But in most cases the foul-up didn't happen.  I can use this mini pieced strip in my monochromatic Green experiments.

There is a residual problem with the strip blocks in Step 3 of this mystery:  I didn't use up all the strips and strings I had in the paper grocery bag.  And I don't want to schlepp these into a corner somewhere and then run into them in 8 months.  So I just keep making more of the blocks, trying to use up the strings.  So far I have 24 extras, and six in process.  These still aren't going to  use up all the strings.  The really bad part is that what's left in the bag has gotten boring, and I am being tempted to go and cut MORE strings from FQs or stash so that I'll have something "different".  Counter-productive!  I'm holding off this urge currently.  I hope when Bonnie shows us how she is going to use these string blocks, I will get an idea what to do to turn these extras into a baby quilt.

Otherwise it has been a nice quiet day for reading.
Tomorrow, back to the UFOs.



I have plenty of neutral strings!
Dusting of snow overnight made everything bright even tho' no sun
Leftover pasta with pesto for lunch
Peter coming over for dinner

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

RRCB Step 3 completed

Yesterday I finished the fifth 10, and today I finished the sixth 10.  So all 60 are pressed and cut to size.  I am ready for the next clue this coming Friday.  Hoo-ee, I can do something else tomorrow!

Well, I did also take a little time for my "notion holder".

These are close to what I wanted, and I just have to sew together the opening in the lining by hand.  I can put one in the Bee exchange with the "notion" enclosed, and use the other as a gift.   At least the two recipients will be able to tell them apart.  Hmm, guess I'll have to put something in the second one too.

I am reading "The Birth House" by Ami McKay , about a midwife in Nova Scotia around 1915.  Someone on the internet suggested it, so I requested it at the library.  I'm fascinated with how much life has changed in 100 years.
Next up will be "Independent People" by Halldor Laxness, set in Iceland.  Another suggestion from the internet, and received from the library.



Breakfast out 
Hershey miniatures
Advent candles in the darkness

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Word Play, Thanx to Tonya

Today is "International Tonya Ricucci Day"  because her book "Word Play" has been published TODAY by Martindale Press.

In 2009, Tonya blogged about making a "Four Letter Words" quilt.  She asked her readers to make a pieced word from fabric and send it to her.  I took the challenge and made:

And I had some bits and pieces left over, so kept finagling around with them to make letters.  Finally I made an "A" to complete:

Then Tonya said:  "And I'd like your name too."   So I made:

In 2010 Tonya again challenged her blog readers, this time to make a "liberated" Amish quilt and include some words.  I didn't finish by her deadline, but I completed:

Tonya is making me think about more words on future quilts!
Thanks Tonya!

[I hope Santa knows where to find your book 'cause I've asked for it!]



Now have a total of 50 string blocks made
Two more "Dop" bags scrunched together
Fresh bread baking

Monday, December 6, 2010

String piecing

I spent most of the afternoon and evening piecing these string blocks for Bonnie's mystery.  I now have 30 DONE [and the papers removed], three sets of 10 pinned together.  BUT I discovered that I had mis-read the instructions.  We really are supposed to make 60 blocks.  Wow, that's a lot; and it means almost 10 a day.  That's why I worked so hard to make up for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Now I'm "on schedule".

Meanwhile I have decided what quilting "notion" to give at our Bee winter party, and I even found a design for the right "handmade" container, and some sewing themed fabric. I made a sample.  I thought I was making the real thing, but I had bought a too short zipper; this made the construction difficult, and result questionable.  So it was a sample.

 I just got the right length zipper on my way home from exercise class, so NOW I'm going to make the real one.

The GRWC concert went well.  We didn't have any train wrecks, the soloists did a good job, and there were some tears in the audience, I heard.  Primarily for "The Women Gather", a Sweet Honey in the Rock song saying violence can find us anywhere; "It doesn't matter where you're living."

I like the line from "The Blessing" that says,
"When you no longer hear my song, my blessing goes with you."  Makes me think of all our mothers and their well-wishing us into the future.



The rest of the bass section
Lori, our director
A warm home and DH

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter Concert

Grand Rapids Women's Chorus
winter concert TONIGHT
7:30 PM
Trinity United Methodist Church

Come see our new vests, 
enjoy Japanese, Hebrew and English songs,
eat homemake goodies.

Roll, Roll Cotton Boll mystery continues.
Here are a few, string pieced 8.5 inch squares of "neutrals" or background prints.  We are all digging through our bins of strips that are too narrow or short to be called "strips", and hence are called "strings".  I found I had more than I expected, but not a very great variety of prints.  So I have raided some fabric on my shelves and CUT a few strips. Bonnie said we should use anything that was more neutral than colored. So some color is allowed.

Her suggestion is to use phonebook pages as the base, cut to 8.5" square.  Well, when I tried to rip the pages out [of the Dentist section] very carefully, I still didn't get the full 8.5" width of the page.  Hmm.  Got to make the strings a little longer than the paper, so how much help is that?

Made six yesterday.  Let's see, if I make six a day, I'll have the 30 needed in 5 days.  Maybe I won't get six done every day.  But it looks do-able.



Iris' birthday breakfast celebration
Got idea for sewing notion bag on internet
Concert tonight

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tree Time!

No, not the Christmas tree being brought into the house [or up from the basement].

Pieced trees.

I'm joining in the Block Lotto game this month because I love these wonky trees, which are made two at a time.  I like them so much that I am making an extra pair of each color so I can keep a pair.
After making these I found that I had not read the instructions carefully enough.  The not-black fabric was to be Tone-on-tone jewel colors, not the solid color I had.  Oh dear.  Try again.

Now they are fine.  Maximum number to enter is 10, so I'm all done.

Time to go back to Roll, Roll Cotton Boll, Bonnie Hunter's current mystery.  And then there are further UFOs to attack.



Hearing about Peter's work for Land Conservancy of West Michigan
Spiced pecans made for concert reception tomorrow
Classical music on WBLU

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Puss-in-the-Corner ready to gift

I finished putting on the borders today, and it ended up being 56" x 86", a long twin.  But that's good.  Gives a little more to tuck under the foot of the mattress.  Or maybe it will be a "snuggle" quilt for a long sofa.  My first UFO [Un-Finished Object] completion for December.
Here's the whole thing, draped over the love seat.

Other news on the eye front:  Dr. Gindzin, my regular doctor for macular degeneration, says that both my left eye, which worried me last week, and the right eye are "fine".  So I did not need an injection in the right eye this time.  Come back after New Year's, unless I notice any changes.  Hurray!

All I had to recover from this AM was the dilation in both eyes.  But that just meant I got to lie down and close my eyes for two hours after we got home.  When I got up, there on the floor by the bed was a "gift" of the dog's stuffed squirrel.  Guess he thought I needed it more than he did.



Charlie to be my driver
Another UFO top to Margaret's Hope Chest
First real snow of the season, lovely

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time to Stop Strips

"Extra Extra Fancy" has reached the length of a queen bed.  Since it is to be a TWIN, I'm stopping with the strips now.  I will put a "stopper" strip down the sides and then a wider border.  I really like this strippy look!  And it is doing a good job working off some left over blocks and strips in my stash.

Good last rehearsal before the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus winter concert this Saturday [7:30 pm at Trinity Methodist].  Lori, our Director, says that we are "ready for an audience".  No Christmas music, so it won't interrupt your observance of Advent.   Free will offering, no intermission [concert lasts only one hour], and refreshments afterwards.  A good deal.  Hope some of you can make it!



Warm bed last night, tho' TWO quilts are a little heavy
ipod lets me review last night's rehearsal
Progress on two quilt tops

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Extra Extra Fancy"

Still adding more to the Strip Quilt of Orphans.  I added the confetti blocks on the top of THIS half of the Strip Quilt.  And I want you to notice the words "extra extra fancy" on a part of a rice bag fabric.  I think it may be a good title for this quilt.

 And here is the other half with its row of confetti blocks.  To the right is my next row.  With four blocks like this I almost had the right width for the quilt, so I just added a little spacer bar between each to make it up to 48".  Not sure yet where this on is going to fit, probably in the center, so it will be sure to show, not be tucked under the mattress.

I found some time for knitting over the weekend while riding in the car, and while conversations were in progress.  I "turned the heel" in both socks and am now working on the heel gusset decreases.  Hope to get them finished for a gift.



Still turkey for lunch!
Making progress on the Two-socks-at-once project
A few more Japanese words made it into my head [for Women's Chorus]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Puss in the Corner blocks

Stack of 80 Puss in the Corner blocks in my UFO cupboard.  All I need in an alternate block to separate these and make them more interesting.

The solution:

was on the cover of "Nickel Quilts".  She has constructed her block differently, with four patches added in the corners, but I can simply use another of the Puss in the Corner blocks there!  Hoo-ha, this is going to be simple.

Using two shades of blue rectangles will make a "frame" for half the blocks in dark and half in light.  They are laid out on the design bed.  There's a minor problem with the edges finishing the design, but I'll worry about that later.  Now to sew them together.



Start of Advent
Leftover turkey for lunch sandwich
Saw the end of "The Wizard of Oz" last night on TV, 
     had forgotten that Toto is a hero