Sunday, December 08, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 49

Some finishes!

A Christmas wallhanging, 27 x 29. 1 yard busted!
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Two ten-minute tablerunners, total width 21 inches (so 43 inches of yardage used). 1.2 yards busted!
 Ginkgo runner:
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Angel runner:
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Yards in since week 42: 12
Yards out since week 42: 5.2 (includes baby quilt)
Cumulative yards in: 25.3
Cumulative yards out: 47.7
Net gain/loss: 22.4 USED

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How many quilts?

This was the question asked on Stashbusters, one of the Yahoo groups I'm in (and mostly lurk on) How many quilts do you finish in a year?

My answer ties in to an idea percolating for a while about an artist's manifesto ~ this would be my quilting manifesto.

Whether or not you choose to count up "how many" depends to some degree on what your intent is in quilting. Do you want to crank out as many quilts as possible? To compete with yourself? Then it makes sense to add up your numbers. I have a tendency to start projects and not finish them, so I've set a goal to finish one project a month (and that can be new or a UFO) and I keep track of that. I'm in the UFO challenge to whittle down my list of UFOs. And keeping track of yardage in and out prevents me from mindlessly buying more fabric "just because."

Honestly, I quilt because I enjoy the process. I like digging through the bins for material. I like thinking about my design. I like rotary cutting for piecing and fiddly cutting for applique. I like sitting at my machine, listening to it hum as I feed the pieces through. I like ironing (and yes, I know I should press, but it still works when I iron!) and nesting seams to make the pieces into blocks. I like arranging the blocks into a whole. I like deciding on a border (or no border).

I'm not so fond of sandwiching, but it's a necessary evil :) 

I love FMQ, except when my tension goes all wonky and I have to pull out all the eyelashes on the back :( I absolutely adore sewing on the binding, because I'm almost done and I can admire what I've accomplished.

So, no, I don't have any idea how many quilts I finish in a year. It depends on how the mojo goes that year. And I usually don't have any idea how long it took me to make a quilt, either. Because it just doesn't matter to me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby quilt done!

Finished size 35 x 49.

A simple 4-patch using some mother goose (the yellow) and teal squares, set with pink.
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Pieced backing with a fun animal print.
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Stash busted: 3 yards!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 42

I somehow got off a week in the numbering from missing some weeks, but should be back on track now.

We FINALLY got to go back to work on Thursday, but I got a lot done before then (and after then, as well).

I finished my daughter's BFF's graduation quilt:
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6.7 yards OUT!

I also made a grim reaper robe for Halloween for the Small Man. I bought 2 yards of costume satin for the body, but found some polyester gabardine for the sleeves and hood in the stash. Probably 0.5 yards used of the gabardine, and 1.7 yards of the satin.

The Karate Kid wanted a Russian fur hat (Ushanka). I used this link as a starting point:

I made a prototype of a nice wool blend herringbone lined with cream fleece with a circular crown, but he thought it was "too square." The next model (not yet finished) is a velvety black, with triangular darts and then an x-shaped seam in the crown. That one passed muster. The final version (for the costume) is a soft brown fake fur, lined with a brown Kona cotton. It just needs a red star and some gold braid to make it more Russian-looking. Estimates for the two hats that were finished are about 0.6 yards each.

Yards in this week: 2
Yards out this week: 10.1
Cumulative yards in: 13.3
Cumulative yards out: 42.5
Net gain/loss: 29.2 USED

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quilty furlough activities

First, another machine to clean. This is a Singer 15-91 that is simply awesome for free motion quilting. But it had been neglected for a while.
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Quilt under the needle:
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Cotton had to help quilt:
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I had a large-scale black and white print (what on EARTH was I thinking ?!?) that worked really well for binding:
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Binding and backing:
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Ralph had to help bind:
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Finished quilt, busted stash! 68 x 73 starry quilt for my Lovely Daughter's BFF. Total yardage busted is 6.7 yards by my calculation. That'll cancel out the 2.5 yards of the black floral I bought to finish the top and then some. A little blurry :(
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I also started working on an OLD UFO. My grandmother and I found these flannel blocks in a thrift store at some point. She passed away in 1988, so I've had them a while.

You can see how very wonky they are - hand-sewed strips of flannel:
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I'm trimming the unsewn sides to "square", and then sewing the hand-sewn sides with generous seam allowances:
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Final blocks will be trimmed to squares once they're completely surrounded by flannel - blue and beige.
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I also bought tickets for the Van Gogh exhibit at the Phillips tomorrow ~ we'll take the Lovely Daughter and head off on the Metro once both boys are off to school.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 40

Yards in this week: 0
Yards out this week: 0.5
Cumulative yards in: 11.3
Cumulative yards out: 32.4
Net gain/loss: 21.1 USED

The half yard is an estimate - I used up some awful simpering baby print flannel to make a buffing wheel for TMOTH.

The starry quilt is on the machine - quilting in progress; at least half way done. Looking to have a BIG number in the used column next week.

Friday, October 04, 2013

My furlough week, so far

After shut-down on Tuesday morning, I started working on a double Irish chain quilt. I really just needed something almost completely mindless.

I had a bunch of 2.5 inch pink squares in a bag'o'squares I'd bought at the white elephant sale at a local quilt show a couple of years ago. I found a big piece of floral that was bundled with some flannel as a backing, but I decided that backing wouldn't go with that quilt all that well. So it became the major part of the top. The Lovely Daughter told me I should use teal/turquoise with the pink and cream, so I pulled a chunk out of the stash.

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Entire top:
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Close-up of the border:

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Again, all from stash. A pink that's a little darker than most of the ones in the top, and a butterfly print that's a little more green but still has some blue tones in it, and works with the rest of the top. I have a darker tan/brown batik that I think will give me enough for the binding.

Today I need to clean and oil my machine for the sit-and-sew tomorrow, and make sure I'm taking all that I need for a day of sewing - this time with friends!

Linking to Nina's Off-the-Wall Friday even though this is about as NON-art-quilty as it gets :) Hoping it will help get my mojo back.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 39

Lots of catching up to do!

I finished the house blocks quilt (~2 yards) and a pillow for TMOTH's birthday (~1 yard).

Here's the pillow:
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I bought a scrap bag at G Street's September Quilt Club (which was an awesome trunk show; ~1.3 yards) and also brought home some bits and pieces from the Betheda Quilter's show on Friday - they're all small pieces, maybe 2 yards in all. And 2.5 yards to work on The Lovely Daughter's best friend's quilt.

Yards in this month: 5.8
Yards out this month: 3.0
Cumulative yards in: 11.3
Cumulative yards out: 31.9
Net gain/loss: 20.6 USED

I have some hopes for bigger finishes soon. There's the Christmas panel for a small wallhanging that's being hand-quilted, and I'm taking lots of stuff to a quilting day out next Saturday, including this:
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It's a VERY long-term UFO. My Memaw and I found it on a thrifting trip. The plaid blocks are hand-sewn, flannel. and VERY wonky. I have blue and camel flannel to border the blocks in to hopefully de-wonk them.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Old Stitchery Books

One of my used bookstore weaknesses:
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The modern stuff with photos is pretty, but not nearly as useful as these older books with drawings and clearly written instructions.

Saturday morning

It's been a looong trying summer, full of ups and downs.

The first trip to Florida was in early July. First was the karate tournament in Ft. Lauderdale:
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The team as a whole did well. My small man wound up with a second-place medal in sparring in his age/weight group! (There were two kids in the bracket, but to be fair, he fought well even though he lost.) The Karate Kid didn't place, but part of it is that he's gained just enough weight to be in the higher-weight bracket, so a lot of the kids have a bit more weight on him.
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Then back up the state a little bit for my brother's wedding.
The family:
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A rare photo of the Karate Kid, smiling and in a tux, no less:
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The Small Man:
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My Lovely Daughter, being obnoxious (she's in front of my brother):
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Little Brother and his bride-to-be taking photos before the wedding:
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Little Brother and new bride dancing at the reception:
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It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. We get to spend one cloudy day at the beach, and back we traipse to Maryland.

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Early August, Little Brother calls me that they've taken Mom to the ER, probably dehydration. Next day, I fly to Florida in time to spend an hour with her before she passes away. Raging sepsis, organ shutdown, and she's gone.

A favorite photo of Mom from our scanned photos for the funeral:
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The family drove down for the funeral, and I drove back with them. In less than a week, I drive BACK to Florida with the Lovely Daughter to move her into her college dorm.

I packed up all of Mom's clothes in the back of the van and am sorting through them. I brought back a bunch of Mom's t-shirts and will likely make a quilt or quilts out of them.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

House block swap

I recently took part in a block swap with friends from the C-R-A-F-T Yahoo group. We each made house blocks that represented our own home, then sent them off to the swap Queens who parceled them back out to each of us.

I sewed the blocks together before we left Maryland and then threw everything into a bag. I put it all together on my mom's dining room table.
Mine is in the middle of the middle row. (I didn't plan it that way, it's just where it showed up):
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The close-up shows the floral - I was going to just sash with this, but some of the blocks were too blendy, so I bordered all blocks with a minty green solid first.
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The backing is a pale blue sprigged floral - very sort of 80s, I suspect.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 24

No posts for about a month ~ eek!

The yardage in is a combination of "gift" FQ from volunteering for the quilt show (4 batik FQ in lovely teals), winning one FQ in the guild raffle, and purchases from a "yard sale" at the guild meeting.

I finished the voodoo mask for a friend (estimate of  0.2 yards) and made an Elvis cape for my 2nd-grader's living history presentation (estimate of 1.5 yards busted).

Yards in this month: 3.5
Yards out this month: 1.7
Cumulative yards in: 5.5
Cumulative yards out: 28.9
Net gain/loss: 23.4 USED

Friday, May 24, 2013

Voodoo mask

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Nearly done - I need to figure out what I'm going to do with the back.

The backstory - a friend has had a cancer recurrence, and described visualizing her cancer cells as shrunken heads on stick legs, running away during treatment. The idea of a voodoo mask to support this vision popped into my head, and this is the result.

The embellishments are vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, sewn on with glass beads. Perle cotton stitching.

I'm very excited to use this as my debut showing in Off the Wall Friday on Nina-Marie's blog!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Stash Report Week 19

Yards in this week: 0
Yards out this week: 0.2
Cumulative yards in: 2
Cumulative yards out: 27.2
Net gain/loss: 25.2 USED

The out numbers are a guess over the past two weeks, for trimmings that went in the trash can working on a quilt for the Lovely Daughter's BFF. I thought about buying fabric this weekend - 15% off coupon to Jo-Ann's - but did other stuff instead.

And in happy news, TMOTH lost his glasses! That's not so much the good news, although he found them, but he ALSO found my camera while he was hunting for the glasses.

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I've gotten quite a few stars done and have started fitting them together. TLD saw what I've gotten done and commented: "The blocks aren't the same size!" I said - "No." and she just smiled. Not a fan of symmetry, that one.


Friday, May 03, 2013

April progress report

1. finish 13 projects - I finished a UFO for the show, Laura's Cats; a different challenge quilt; and made a beret for my Small Man. That brings my total to eight. I've started working again on a graduation quilt for The Lovely Daughter's BFF and my 30s/40s colonial ladies quilt. And I bought some kanzashi flower makers at the show and plan to work on some actual little things to sell at next year's show.
2. Spend 13 minutes a day sewing - Most days - lots of motivation with the show!
3. 2013 in 2013:  In April, only 24 pieces of "stuff" left the house. That brings my total to 578. I really need to pitch some stuff to neaten up to get ready for visitors for graduation at the end of the month.
4. Keep track of what I'm doing by starting blogging again - I feel much more productive when I have a record of what I've done. Not a great month at this.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Friendship Star Quild Guild show

Our guild show was this weekend. I volunteered for most of the show time, and am tired to the bone - The Lovely Daughter's musical was this weekend, so I picked her up at 1 am from IHOP Friday night and at 2 am from the cast party last night. This mama doesn't do well on little sleep, and the big dog doesn't believe in sleeping in.

But lots of lovely quilts were on display.

The Lovely Daughter's quilt was finally done:
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I had a quilt entered in the Ultimate Guild Challenge, and one in our local guild's "challenging fabric" challenge:
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This quilt won first place in that challenge:
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And this is the one I liked the best - the quilter "hid" the hideous fabrics in a bunch of others that played well together:
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The show is always good for inspiration. This is a great scrap quilt I plan to make pretty soon:
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And I always love me a scrappy sampler:
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More later - need to take some boys to bed.

2013 Stash Report Week 17

Yards in this week: 0
Yards out this week: 6.9
Cumulative yards in: 2
Cumulative yards out: 27
Net gain/loss: 25 USED

I made 12 more pincushion blanks for the show, about 5 x  5 each. My math works out to 0.2 yards!

AND I finished a UFO, my Lovely Daughter's quilt - to the tune of 6.7 yards.

The most amazing part - I bought NO fabric at the show! I bought a ball of perle cotton and some 12-wt. Sulky blendables (a package of 5) AND four of these really cool Clover kanzashi flower makers. They're a really fun tool!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

A lovely day

I had such a wonderful day today, I wanted to share.
The day started with the critters letting us sleep in, until some time after 7! For breakfast, I had leftover biscuits, toasted with butter (one of my very favorite things in the entire world). Then I sat down to watch Sunday Morning, and finished sewing the binding on a challenge quilt while I watched.
A little bit of cleaning later, I went out to the shop to ask TMOTH if he wanted pizza for lunch, since I was heating some up for me and the kids. Yes, he did, but more importantly - it was absolutely fabulously gorgeous outside. WARM and SUNNY.
So we ate our pizza outside :) I'd started pruning our boxwoods once I put the pizza in the oven, and after lunch, I pruned them so we could walk through, and scraped/swept the pavers. (As an aside, if the morons who owned our house before us had spend just 5 minutes figuring out how big the plants were going to get, we would not have the Boxwood Problem.) Then spent some time working on the patio, just to keep outside. This is the after picture:

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I put a lot of our seashells into a planter on the patio where I can enjoy them.
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Cookie did not want his picture taken. At all.

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Toffee was just sad he had to stay in the house.
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The Small Man wants to be "an artist" for his career day at school next week. TMOTH is making him a palette, and I made him a red beret.

Dinnertime - I managed to pull dinner together with pasta, vegetables, sausage, and stale hamburger buns!

The Lovely Daughter and her boyfriend made brownies, so we're just waiting for them to cool enough to eat!!

And now I'm sitting watching the country music awards, working on her quilt.

Nothing big today, just a day full of simple pleasures. I hope that you all had a lovely Sunday.

2013 Stash Report Week 14

Yards in this week: 0
Yards out this week: 2.8
Cumulative yards in: 2
Cumulative yards out: 20.1
Net gain/loss: 18.1 USED

I finished another small challenge quilt; I'm calling this one 2.5 yards as well.
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I also made  the Small Man a beret today :) Best estimate is 0.3 yards, I think. I used the tutorial here. It was easy-peasy and looks awesome.
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Monday, April 01, 2013

March progress report

Well, March was depressing. It seems as if winter will never end - although today there were reports of sunlight, and it was not as cold as it's been. Nature knows that spring is imminent - we have daffodils blooming away in the yard, and the spring peepers are out at night. Hopefully our wood frogs will return to the "pond" this year as well.

Keeping up with the housework was a dismal flop last month, although I did manage to get rid of 133 items. But this is a new month - one that will hopefully be much warmer and I won't feel the need to hibernate!

1. finish 13 projects - ONE completely done in March; the guild challenge quilt that HAD to be done for turn-in today. That brings my total to five. I should have at least two more finished this month for the show turn-in.
2. Spend 13 minutes a day sewing - I missed a few days here and there, but mostly accomplished this again.
3. 2013 in 2013:  In February, 122 pieces of "stuff" left the house. That brings my total to 554. So I need to pick up the pace a little bit, but I'm not behind - yet.
4. Keep track of what I'm doing by starting blogging again - I feel much more productive when I have a record of what I've done. Posts fell off even more, although this was partly due to more quilting!.

2013 Stash Report Week 13

Yards in this week: 0
Yards out this week: 2.5
Cumulative yards in: 2
Cumulative yards out: 17.3
Net gain/loss: 15.3 USED

I finished a small quilt for our guild challenge this weekend - actually this entire past week was spent mostly quilting. 

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It took me FOREVER to think of a design that would fit with the theme - Tutti Frutti - and then of course I was time crunched to get it done for turn-in tonight! The bottom line is that I'm very happy with it - and will even hang it up in my house!