Saturday, December 18, 2010

Judy's 2011 UFO Challenge

Judy L. at Patchwork Times is having a UFO Challenge for 2011.  You list 12 projects you want to finish.  On the first day of each month, she will pick a number from 1-12.  That is the project you work on for that month.

My list is:
1. Judy Martin Swap Blocks - finish assembling, borders, quilt, bind
2. Mittens - borders, quilt, bind
3. QOV mystery - borders, quilt, bind
4. Mexican Star - borders, quilt, bind
5. SVQG Round Robin - quilt, bind
6. TQP Challenge - quilt, bind
7. NYE 07 mystery - quilt, bind
8. SITP - decide if it needs to be bigger, (more blocks?), assemble, quilt, bind
9. Quilt Bug 2008 Mystery - quilt, bind
10. Fall tablerunner - borders, quilt, bind
11. Sunbonnet Sue - quilt, bind
12. Christmas stars blocks - setting, borders, quilt, bind

Are you seeing a pattern here?  Lots of things get held up at the "needing borders" stage.  And I have a lot of quilting to do.  Next week leading up to Christmas is going to be busy with family, but the week after Christmas is vacation - and I plan to spend some time in my sewing room.  It would be good to get some of the backings and binding ready for all the quilts I'm going to try to get quilted next year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Secret Santa

We do a Secret Santa at work.  For about a 2-week period, we leave little gifts for our secret partner, and then have a party at the end with our main gift, and revealing the Secret Santas.  Our party is going to be next Friday, and I already finished my final gift!    I really like this little guy.  It's wool applique, with hand button-hole stitch.  Machine quilted.  This little quilt finished about 8 x 15 inches.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stash Report - 31 Oct 2010

Used some yardage this week.  I got Mocha Swirl quilted and bound; backing and binding from stash.

In this week:  0 yds
In YTD:  77.13 yds

Out this week:  3.90 yds
Out YTD:  36.27 yds

Net:  40.87 yds added

Check out Judy L's blog to see how others are doing with their stashbusting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stash report - 24 October

I haven't done a stash report in quite a while.  Not much sewing going on in the last couple of months.  No sewing at all last week, but I'm on vacation this coming week, and plan to sew.  I should have numbers to report next week.

In YTD:         77.13 yds
Out YTD:      32.37 yds
Net added YTD:  44.76 yds

Go check out Judy L's blog to see how everyone else is doing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carolina Fall Classic

It has been a beautiful day for a drive.  We got to Greensboro around 2PM, checked in to the hotel and got our registration packet for the competition.  I even managed to pick up the dress one of the ladies in the Dancing with the Stars of the 'Burg wants to try on as an option for the event.  We even found a vest for one of the men.  The costuming is getting there!

Our first heat is not until 12:59PM tomorrow.  Hair/makeup appointment is at 9AM.

And we get to visit with DS this evening - that is a pleasant surprise. 

No luck in finding jewelry for the DWTS event - not much selection from the one vendor with jewelry.  So I'll have to do that on-line.  Don't know if we'll have a chance to see any of the championship level dancing tonight.  But I'll willingly give that up for a chance to visit.  We haven't seen DS since February.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tomato sauce

I got a wild hare this week that I wanted to make tomato sauce.  I've never made tomato sauce.  I've never done any canning.  I've made jelly a few times, but not recently.

So, I stopped at the vegetable stand on the way home from work on Thursday.  They have about 20 varieties of tomatoes.  I know that plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes are supposed to be good for sauce, but that was one variety they did NOT have.  So I asked the woman who owns the stand if the ones labeled "local - grown in Keezletown" would make good sauce.  They would, so then to decide how many to buy - she suggested that they sell 1/2 bushels for canning - hmm, that sounded like too many tomatoes.  So she had a box with a few pounds in it - ones with a couple of bruises, etc, that weren't pretty for using at the table - and suggested they would be good for sauce; the whole lot for $2.  Well, I figured I couldn't go wrong for $2, so they went home with me.  Since DH was working late, I put a pot on the stove and started peeling tomatoes.  I peeled them, cut out the bruised parts, squeezed out as much of the seeds as I could, then chopped and put them in a pot. 

After about 2 hours of simmering, everything was broken down and about the right consistency.  I used my immersion blender to smooth it out a little more, then packaged it up into 2 quart-size zip bags which I put in the freezer.

Today, I used my homemade tomato sauce to make spaghetti sauce.  Yum!  It tasted different than using canned tomato sauce - it's sweeter.  Next time I do this, I won't put any sugar into the spaghetti sauce.  So this week, I may take the woman at the farm stand up on her suggestion of 1/2 bushel. 

Stash report - 29 August 2010

Nothing bought this week, and a little bit used.

In this week:  0 yds
Out this week:  1.08 yds

In YTD:  75.13 yds
Out YTD:  30.87 yds

Net for the year:  44.26 yds added.

Check out Judy's blog for how everyone else did this week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stash report - 15 August 2010

Well, I did well on Friday using from stash to finish my Mardi Gras quilt, but then when I pulled out the blocks from the Judy Martin swap, I wanted to have something to integrate the whole into the borders, so I went shopping.

 In this week:  13.63 yds
Used this week:  3.14 yds
Net for the week:  10.49 yds added

In YTD:  75.13 yds
Used YTD:  29.79 yds
Net YTD:  45.35 yds added - not quite Busting stash, am I?
But I am finishing quilts, so I'm OK with that.

Stay at home retreat

I've been having a solo stay-at-home quilt retreat this weekend.  I took Friday as a vacation day and have been quilting all weekend.

On Friday, I pulled out a set of swap blocks from the "Romp in the Swamp" with The Quilting Post friends.  Because we had a retreat in Louisiana, our swaps were Southern or Louisiana themed.  The set I worked with this weekend was stars in Mardi Gras colors - green, gold and purple.   Sashing, backing, and binding are all from stash.  The quilting on this one is a freehand ribbon meander - sort of like streamers.  I even had a batt and thread in the stash that worked for this one

I'm calling this Mardi Gras.  The binding is sewn on the front, but still needs to be turned and hand stitched to the back.

I just took off the machine another quilt from swap blocks, also through TQP.  This is a from a swap of 6" blocks in 30's reproduction prints.  I got some half-circle templates yesterday, and quilted this with Baptist fans. 
This also has the binding applied, but still needing to be stitched to the back.

The next set of blocks I"m working on is much older - these are from a 1995 swap, on Genie, I think.  We had a group of 25, each of us picked a focus fabric and a Judy Martin block pattern.  We sent a piece of our focus fabric to each person, and we all made our selected block in the different fabrics.  My focus fabric was a teal background with wheat-brown flowers and purple leaves.  I've put my blocks up on the design wall (looks like I did not make my own block in my focus fabric....)
I want this to be a bed-size quilt, so I'm going to do some type of sashing, and maybe a series of borders - narrow inner border, then a pieced border of some sort, then maybe a final narrow border.  I went to the LQS yesterday and found to pieces of brown that go well with the brown in my focus fabric, and one piece of wine that matches one of the leaf colors, so I've got something to work with.  I think I'll play with some designs in EQ before I start cutting anything.

Oh, and all of the pictures today are from my new camera.  I was having a lot of trouble getting clear pictures with my old camera, so I got a new Canon PowerShot SD1300IS.  I like it so far.

Time to find some lunch.   DH will be back from his mini-vacation in a little while, so I'll probably stay out of the sewing room this evening. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Busy Day

Well, kinda.  Today started EARLY - up at 2:30 a.m. so we could take DMIL to the airport.  Leaving her at the security line seemed almost as bad as leaving one of the children there by themselves.  Even if we know that she's perfectly capable of managing her bag and getting through security and to her gate all by herself, LOL.  We did get a call mid-afternoon that she has safely arrived at her destination. 

Dance practice this afternoon.  Some things are working, and some just aren't.  I think I'll be working on natural spin turns forever....When we go in to practice tomorrow, I expect they'll be better - it seems to work that way.  One day the timing is just off, then the next it works.  At least I hope so.  Even the things that don't feel like they are working right are much better than they were at our last competition, so I'm really pleased with our progress.  Having the dance floor in the living room where we can really work on one figure at a time is helping.

This afternoon I worked some more on organizing my sewing room.  I got rid of all of the batting scraps that were piled in the corner.  They were mostly usable sizes, but had become a favorite cat bed, so they got tossed.  Underneath the batting were two cardboard bankers boxes.  Both had sewing things - one had my BOM blocks from several years ago, still in their mailing envelopes.  I had wondered where those had gotten they now reside (out of the mailers) in a plastic shoe box on the shelf of the spare bedroom.  The other box had miscellaneous dressmaking scraps - those went in the trash, and some quilt books and magazines.  The books are on the shelf in the spare bedroom, and the magazines got boxed up with most of the others from the sewing room to go to the storage building until things are straightened up enough that I can decide where to keep them.  I also found my Featherweight - it was also hiding under the batting scraps.  I knew it had to be in there somewhere, but couldn't figure out if it was in the back under the cutting table or where...

Tomorrow I'll run to Walmart and get some more plastic drawers to put where the bankers boxes were - I can make a nice stack of those to hold some more folded stash.  I'm trying to get rid of all of the totes that are stacked around - they're too difficult to get anything out of, so nothing in them actually gets used.  By having everything folded and in the drawers, I can see everything and get to it to use it.  Once it's all folded, I'll have to go through everything one more time to sort by colors, but that will wait for now.  I'm also going to get a couple more plastic shoeboxes for storing UFOs - if I keep everything for a project together in its own box, then I can just pull one out and work on it - then put it away in its box if it reaches a stopping point before it's done.  Storing those in the spare bedroom closet also frees up space in the sewing room.

I almost have the longarm table cleared off - without putting it all on the ironing board or cutting table, so I'll be able to load some of these tops and get them quilted.  The next project after that will have to be finding somewhere to store all the finished quilts - or sending some off for others to enjoy. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stash Report - 25 July

I used fabric this week, and didn't buy any, so I've got net out this week.  I cut from the two jelly rolls I've gotten in the last several weeks for a quilt out of the Scrap Basket Surprises book - I'm making the one called "Mocha Swirls" - I think it's going to be pretty!

So far, I finished cutting, and have made all of the split pieces, and am putting blocks together.  I've got about 1/3 of the blocks put together so far.

So, for my report:

Used this week:  3.5 yds
Added this week:  0 yds

Used YTD:  20.93 yds
Added YTD:  58.51 yds

Net for 2010:  37.57 yds added.

Head over to Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A universal truth of organizing

It's always the same.  Whenever I start organizing somewhere - it always gets a lot worse before it gets better.

I spent all day Sunday working in my sewing room.  I didn't sew a stitch.  I pressed and folded fabric and put it away.  I worked on various pieces of yardage that were stacked under the cutting table.  I pressed and folded a ton of fat quarters.   And scraps.  I cleared out one scrap box, but the other one under the longarm is still quite full.  I pressed and folded, and pressed and folded.  I ran out of drawers for the yardage and ended up with a stack on the cutting table.  I cleared off the front of the cutting table all the way across and pressed and folded all the miscellaneous leftover pieces that were there.

Today I took the afternoon off from work.  After a going-away lunch for a coworker, I came home and started thinking about what to do with my afternoon.  I even stopped at the quilt shop and didn't buy anything.  They have Horn sewing cabinets on sale - but their original price was almost $1000, so even on sale, I have other things I'd rather spend that kind of money on.

I went upstairs planning to start cutting fabrics for the Planet Patchwork mystery quilt that's running this Sunday, but that stack of folded yardage was still sitting on the cutting table.
So I decided I needed to go get some more stackable drawers to put it in.  One trip to Walmart later, I had four sets of plastic drawers - two for folded yardage, one wider set for tops ready to quilt, and one for scrapbooking paper.  I had to take my box of fabric scraps out from under the longarm to make room for the drawers for the yardage.  That's now sitting on the ironing board.  But all of the cotton yardage is now in drawers. The wider drawers fit very nicely in the alcove under the window.  There's even room to spare in those after I put all the tops in it out of the sweater box.  But I have to figure out what to do with the box I had there and I need to put that sweater box somewhere.

And I have a stack of flannel yardage sitting on the cutting table now - it needs a home.
Maybe this weekend I'll get some more drawers to replace the miscellaneous plastic boxes at the other end of the longarm and go one box at a time - more ironing and folding coming up for me.  But I really want an organized sewing room!  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stash Report - 11 July

It's been a long time since I've done a stash report - or since I've posted at all.

I've been sewing this week, so have used up some fabric, but I did some buying as part of that.
On Monday, I bought 30's fabrics to be able to sash some swap blocks into a baby quilt top.  That got sashing and borders on Monday, then I used the rest of 2 of the fabrics to piece a backing and binding, so those are ready to quilt.
 Yesterday I also worked on my Shakespeare in the Park, and have finished the last few blocks and cut all of the setting triangles, so that was a little more stash used.

So the numbers stand here:
Added this week:  14.03 yds (a jelly roll plus several 30's cuts, and yardage for borders for a king-size quilt)
Added YTD:  58.51 yds

Used this week:  5.09 yds
Used YTD:  17.41 yds

YTD net:  41.10 yds ADDED

Since I haven't made any new tops, the only significant uses are for backs, and I need to do more of those....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter cards

I made cards for Easter this year.  The last went in the mail last night.

This is a House Mouse stamp, colored with Copic markers.   I think they turned out really cute!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stash report - 7 February

Well, just a little sewing this weekend.  I made a fiber postcard, two blocks for a love quilt, and binding for the Road to OK baby quilt.  I finished getting the binding on the baby quilt.

In this week:              0 yds
Used this week:    0.86 yds.

In YTD:                 21.45 yds
Used YTD:             8.24 yds

Net YTD:              13.21 yds in.

You can check out how everyone is doing at Judy's blog.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stash report - 31 Jan

Gee, where did the week go this week?  Not much sewing going on here this week.  I have just about finished a second set of blocks for the snowglobe swap while sitting at the women's basketball game this afternoon.  Since this all came out of stash (at least it was stash as of 1 January), I'm counting this fabric this week, since everything is cut and I've just got a couple more applique stitches to make for the second set.

Used this week:     1.22 yds
Used YTD:            7.63 yds

In this week:                0 yds
In YTD:                21.45 yds.

NET YTD:           13.82 yds (gain)

I'm whittling away at it for the year.

Check out Judy L's blog to see how everyone else is doing on stashbusting for 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

UFO Finish #2 for 2010

I've finished another UFO.  This is my Pounded Flowers tablerunner.   In (summer 2008?) our guild did a demo of the pounded flowers technique - we were each to bring in at least one block to the next meeting.  I think I made 3.  They were all turned in, and they drew names for groups of blocks.  I won a set of 6 blocks.  I had this tablerunner top put together by the next month's meeting, and it has been sitting in my "box o'tops" waiting for its turn to be quilted ever since.  I'm pleased with how this turned out.  I quilted random leaves in the setting triangles, sashes and borders.

Sunday stash report - week 4

I've been sewing this week, and expect to use more stash today as well, but here's my report as it stands right now.

Added this week:        7.95 yds
Added YTD:             21.45 yds

Used this week:          5.81 yds
Used YTD:                6.41 yds

Net this year:            15.04 yds in

Hmm - need to get back up to the sewing room.  I was sure I had used more than I added this week, but I haven't yet put one of the quilts on the frame that I bought backing for.  Maybe that should be today's project.

Check out Judy's blog for how everyone else is doing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Finish

This morning I finished my NYE 2009 mystery quilt.   This was offered by Ann Smith on several Yahoo quilt groups.   I think this makes a cute baby quilt.   Ann does marvelous mystery quilts.  The instructions are always clear, with great pictures or diagrams.   The finished quilt is usually pretty traditional. 

I also made a pillowcase of out leftovers.  I've got several kids' pillowcases finished now.   One of the quilt inspectors likes to try to help with the pictures.
I'm also working on snowglobes for a swap.  This is the first one.  It still needs to be trimmed to size.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vacation week

I've been on vacation this week, and have spent part of the week quilting.  On Tuesday, I finished putting together the top to my New Year's Eve Mystery from this NYE.  Yesterday it got borders and I quilted it last night.  The binding is sewn on now, waiting to be turned to the back and stitched down.  That will be an evening exercise.  I cut out and prepped the pieces for 2 sets of applique snow globes for a swap on The Quilting Post.  They're due to be mailed by 15 Feb, so will be some evening stitching for the next couple of weeks - or maybe lunch-time stitching at work.  We're allowed to swap up to 5 sets, but I doubt I'll get that many finished.  They should make a cute wallhanging.

I also pulled out another UFO that was a mystery last year - it's bigger than I remembered - 60 x 60 without borders.  I got some red fabric yesterday for borders and backing - that may be the next thing on the machine.  DH is home today but will be gone for the weekend, so I'll sew most of the weekend, as well.

Knitting is also progressing.  I finished the blue socks I was knitting last week, and started this week on the pink pair that is the last hank of yarn I got in Hillsborough - beautiful variegated dark pinks to burgundy from Cherry Hill Farms.  I had lost one of my size 1 double pointed needles, so went to the yarn shop in town to get another pair.  I decided to get a long cable needle to try to magic loop method of knitting in the round.  I also bought a neat book - Sensational Knitted Socks, that gives formulas for making socks with all kinds of gauge yarn, sizes and patterns.  I decided that since this pair of socks is for trying new things, I'd try the pattern for toe-up socks, with short-row toes and heels.  On the needle this sock looks like it would be too small, but when I try it on it fits beautifully.  I'm really going to like these, I think.

Wednesday I spent the day with my parents.  It was really enjoyable to sit and talk (and knit).   My mom belongs to a knitting group that makes afghans for wounded soldiers.  They make 6 x 9 rectangles that are put together to make the afghans.  She had several that were ready to be delivered.  They're nice and soft and cozy.  They send these to the VA in Richmond.  I may have to make a set of rectangles and put them in the mail to her for that project.

We also went to check out a new knitting shop that had opened near her.  It's called Knit 2 Unwind.  I found some different sock yarn there - some bamboo yarn, and some that was wool/bamboo/nylon blend.  I bought 3 skeins, and my mom bought me 2 skeins.  So my yarn stash is building, too.  I haven't done the self-patterning yarn before (other than stripes).  One of the skeins makes a pattern - that should be interesting.

It's been a busy week, and there are still 3 days left of vacation. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday stash report

I did actually do  a little bit of sewing this week.  I made some blocks for a friend.  Since these were all from stash (used up some bright nickles and some Kona black), I'll count the yardage out now that the blocks are done.   The week coming up is a vacation week, and I plan to make some swap blocks, and put a top on the machine to quilt, so that should use up some yardage.

In this week:                0     yds
In YTD:                     13.5 yds

Out this week:               .6 yds
Out YTD:                      .6 yds

Net for 2010:             12.9 yds in

Home from Manhattan

We competed in the Manhattan Amateur Classic yesterday.  The MAC is the third largest all-amateur competition in the US. We competed in three heats - Sr. I and Sr. II Bronze Standard, and Sr. I and Sr. II Silver Standard.  I didn't dance as well as I had hoped - didn't feel solid on my feet.  Out of all we had 2 x  5th place finishes and one 6th place finish.  The one bright note is that in one heat, we were scored FIRST by one judge in Quickstep!  Yay!  Of course, it all depends on what each judge sees you do, but I'm very happy with that.   I think the competition was as strong as we have ever seen it.

I had been feeling pretty good, and we got warmed up well, but our first dance of the first heat just didn't feel good - too many nerves, a little unsteady.  It didn't set a good tone for me for the whole day.

I've also gotten out of the way the thing no one wants to do - I fell at the very end of the quickstep in our first heat - either turned my ankle or stepped on my dress, or both.  Down to the floor I went without any warning, pulling DH over with me.  Yikes!  Unfortunately, I tweaked my ankle when I fell - and it continued to get worse throughout the rest of the dancing - I was barely able to finish the last heat - luckily that one was a bronze, so only had 2 dances.  I had to coast the last half of the last quickstep.  The ankle is still sore today, so I'll try to be good to it and rest it, which means no practicing today, probably. 

One thing we did was go out and push the limits - we were dancing big, but we pushed to the point that we weren't altogether under control.  I think we had flashes of staying in our new dance frame, but it wasn't consistent enough.  We need to spend more time in the studio than we have done for the last couple of months.  It needs to be back to every morning.  And gym time in the evenings when we don't have dance lessons.  Stamina was a problem.  Because or routines don't fit into the studio, we don't dance for a whole song without breaking.  We have to figure out some way to dance continuously for a complete song and still dance big. 

Next up, Mid-Atlantic Dancesport Championships in Bethesda at the end of February.  So we have 6 weeks to get ready for that one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sock pictures

I finally pulled the pictures off the camera.  Here are the socks I finished a week ago.

They're a little looser than the first pair, but so far don't tend to fall down, so I'm enjoying them.

Design Wall Monday

I don't actually have my design wall up at the moment.  But I have blocks laid out on the ironing board, so I'll use that.  These are blocks for a friend.  I have one made and two ready to make the final seams to put the block together.  I'll try to make a few more, as well.

Go over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else is doing this week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stash report - week 2

Well, I haven't posted since my last stash report.  Not much sewing going on here.  I have started piecing a few swap blocks, but won't count that as out of the stash until they're done.  Plans had been to sew all weekend, but we ended up babysitting the grandchildren yesterday morning, and that took most of the day before we got home.  It was great to see the kids, so it's worth giving up a day of sewing. 

Today I went by Michaels and bought some supplies to make cards.  I think I need some pretty papers to go with these, but I'll start with what I got.  This looks like fun.

So my stashbusting numbers:

Used this week:    0 yards
Used YTD:           0 yds

In this week:         0 yds
In YTD:           13.5 yds

Net this year :  13.4 yds gained

Stop by Judy L's blog to see what everyone else has gotten accomplished this week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stash report

I decided I will track my quilting stash use this year along with Judy L. 
I started as of January 1, rather than a full week.  I've added 13.5 yards of 90" wide fabric this week - this is a Christmas gift from my mother.  Nothing used since Jan 1.  I started my NYE mystery quilt, but I'm going to wait to have the top put together to count that yardage.

Added this week:  13.5 yds
Added YTD:         13.5 yds

Used this week:       0
Used YTD:              0

NET for 2010:     +13.5 yds

First finish of the year

Is my second pair of socks.  I need to figure out where I put the camera so I can post a picture.

A day trip to Philadelphia provided time to knit. 

I think I'll wear these tomorrow!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Plus one.
It has been a hectic couple of days. Thursday was spent finishing the Christmas shopping - Christmas with my family is today. Then we actually went to a New Year's Eve party - I think it's about the first time we've done that since high school. We even stayed until after midnight (sleepy, sleepy). It was fun spending time and dancing with all of our friends.

Yesterday we met Meaghan and her family for lunch and to bring them their Christmas gifts (we usually spread Christmas over a couple of weeks). Mason is just getting so big!

And Paige is as adorable as she can be. (of course, I'm the grandma)!

I've got to start taking some of the pictures so that I have David with the grandchildren!

Today is Christmas at my mother's, and my sister and her husband and brother and his wife will be there, along with my niece. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.