Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Hiccups

Because the holiday season is ever hectic, blogging was put on the back burner.

This was given to my dad's wife Charlotte on Christmas Eve.

Charlotte's Quilt
Four days commenced without even stepping into the studio and so yesterday was catch-up on BOD day. It took all afternoon! Here are last week's blocks.

December 21-27
Next week will be my last posting for the BOD blocks and there will only be four since we are nearing completion. I can't believe it's already been a year since I started and what a learning experience as well as a very gratifying project it's been.

I've found a few 'block of the week' quilts I would like to do in the upcoming 2017 year. One is from the same lady who hosted our BODs this year, Kathryn Kerr from Australia. The second is being hosted by Amy Gibson, who did the Craftsy BOM for 2012 and 2013, but I have to purchase a book to do that one and will have to find it before beginning the series, which is very soon (next week I believe).

First Dolly Quilt
I wasn't done in the studio last night quite yet (withdrawal I think) and completed this dolly top for my December challenge (thank you Katie for pushing me on this). I'll get it quilted out at camp in a few weeks, if not before, and then will have to find one to do for January (another camp quest).

I hope everybody had as good a holiday as they possibly could. I know some of my friends out there did not have a very enjoyable time (quite a few in the hospital themselves, or with loved ones), but our thoughts and good wishes were with them even if we couldn't be with them physically.

We still have some festivising to do (Saturday and then two weekends after that) with family who could not be with us last weekend, but the season shouldn't just be designated to one day. I propose we implement the good cheer and joyfulness throughout the whole year. Who's with me?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

On, Off; On, Off; On

This quilt was on the frame yesterday morning, and then off just before lunch.

Susan's Wrestling Quilt
Here's a little detail I put into the quilt for her. 

Eaton Rapids Wrestler Quilt
Then this quilt was on the frame...

Betty's Reverse Applique
Before I left for work, it was done and taken off. Betty just wanted me to baste it up for her so she could hand quilt it during the oncoming months. 

Now I have another quilt on the frame. 
Charlotte's Quilt
This is today's project. I loaded it right after Susan and Caroline came to pick up her wrestling quilt, and before I did today's BOD. 

I'm supposed to be in Portland for a Stitcher's Garden II class later today but am going to defer (again) this month. I have quilt camp coming up in January and maybe I can get the past two months caught up while there?!? The quilt above needs to be quilted by the end of today and then bound and wrapped before I head off to work tomorrow. Christmas pressure....gotta love it. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rethinking

I'm rethinking my blog. I don't know that too many people actually read it, but on the other hand, I write it basically for myself. It's a way for me to keep track of my quilting progress and what exactly is going on in my studio.

But, for the next year (at least), I have this stupid job thing outside of the home and my postings are becoming quite erratic. Sometimes I work several days in a row and the studio work becomes virtually nil. The other days I just play catch up on what I have to do for other folks. I'm asking myself if I should continue?

I think I'll make a decision before the year comes to a close. Meanwhile, I'll post up what I can and decide from there.

Here are last weeks BOD's (that I should have posted yesterday).

December 14-20
I got a bee in my bonnet (or rather, an icicle in my hat given our latest weather) and decided my dad's new wife needed a quilt for Christmas. I received a Tunga fat quarter pack for testing blocks over the summer for the Quiltmaker 100 Quilt Blocks Vol. 14 issue. There was a very simplistic pattern included and I thought maybe she would like her own couch quilt. I started that last night.

We are meeting them on Saturday for that side of our Christmas (ahhh...the holiday festivities begin). Can I do it? In my head I can, so we'll see if my time management skills are still holding on.

I have a four hour shift later today at work and another long shift on Friday afternoon. I have a customer coming to pick up a quilt this morning. And...my daily blocks to complete as well as a customer basting job to load, baste, and then unload before I can get the Christmas present onto the frame. Ready. Set. Quilt!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Not Quilting, but...

Even though this isn't a quilting project, it's still something I've been working on since Friday. A new hat and scarf for my heavy, green winter coat. Since temps today remain in the teens with wind gusts being pretty nasty, I'll certainly put them to good use going to and from work this afternoon.

New Hat and Scarf
Jim and I were able to get the bulk of our Christmas shopping done yesterday, which meant I didn't get much done in here. Today will be much of the same. Maybe tomorrow I'll be more productive?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Feeling Better

After working on my BOD yesterday, I really started going downhill. Basically the remainder of the day was spent on the couch. I even shut off my phone to avoid recuperation interruption.

Here are last weeks blocks.

December 7-13
That's about all for yesterday.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Small Project Sunday Commences

I did a few small projects in the studio yesterday while watching it snow to beat the band outside. I was able to complete seven quilt fairy projects (making a total of 11 so far) and then made these bibs after finding a "model" at a children's shop last week.

Bib's and baby washcloths
I still need to attach the velcro onto the bibs because I only had tan and black here at the house.

Jim and I were supposed to do some shopping yesterday, but the snow kept us close. He's having fun this morning, on his tractor, digging us out.

Playing with his toy
I don't know if I'll work on Susan's quilt today. I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning and I'm not really sure what that's all about. Getting only 6 hours of sleep last night is probably one contributing factor. I took an aspirin and maybe that'll snap me out of it?

At any case, I'll do my BOD and see how I feel after I complete it. This may be one of those ' lay on the couch and read' days?!?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Reprieve

I have a work reprieve for four days. No work scheduled until next Wednesday. A big smile here!

Yesterday's BOD was painful. 185 pieces in a 6 1/2" block. It was all I could do to get it done before heading out for the day, so nothing much else was accomplished in here. Maybe more to post tomorrow?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Momentum

It seems like when momentum is starting to gain here in the studio, everything comes to a slow down with this outside job thing. Today I should be starting on Susan's quilt, but I only have this morning to work before having to take off.

Here's what DW is wearing now.

Susan's Eaton Rapids Wrestling Quilt
This one is due by Christmas, but Susan didn't come to last nights meeting and I have a few questions, and again, the job thing is getting in the way today.

I'll do my BOD, go through some emails, work on the newsletter for the guild, and then head off to work. Exciting, huh?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Old Friends

Haven't posted until now because with Cindy's shoulder surgery, I wanted to see if she wanted me to square and trim her quilt up for her. She did, I have, and here it is, (before trimming) all complete.


Purple Shadow Boxes
Because this quilt is so large (92" square) it's hard for me to really get a sense of how exactly it turned out, but from what I can see, it looks pretty good. Can't wait to throw it on the floor tonight at guild. 

I noticed I received a call sometime last night and decided to return the call this morning. It was April, and isn't it fun catching up? I love talking to old friends. They're so familiar with you and don't judge, but rather embrace your individuality. 

Talking to April was like getting back in my groove with DW this week. We were both a little tentative at first, but then once the words/thread started flowing, we just picked right up where we left off like no time had passed between us; familiar with each others ways and quirks. 

I have one more "Christmas" rush to take care of and then one other customer quilt I really need to get at before the holidays roll around. The second quilt is a pretty tough one; I've been holding out on completing it. Any mishaps would be easily seen since it's pretty much all white in color and with DW being naughty, didn't want to take any chances.  


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Uno Mas!

One more row to go! I was actually able to get a little long-arming in yesterday before heading out the door to work. I'm hoping to finish the last row today before mom and I head out for some holiday shopping. I still have to get the channeling done in the sashing strip areas and then can rock on through the last 14 blocks.

It's a great feeling to be able to meet a deadline because I was worried there for a bit.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chugging Along

Susan came to pick up her Hip Hop quilt yesterday. She loved it and gave me another one to work on with a Christmas deadline. As soon as Cindy's is off, I'll load that one up. This should about cover the holiday quilting for customers.

Here are last weeks BODs.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6
Cindy's quilt is being done in chunks now as I find the time to fire up the long arm and get in my creative groove. Today will probably not be one of those days since I have to take off today at 11:30 for another full day at the store. BUT...I only have 16 more blocks to go so I'm feeling pretty optimistic this will make the Thursday deadline.

Hmmm???
I ran into this while working on her quilt on Sunday. The right quarter of the screen shows a very large pucker within the sashing strip. I contacted her to let her know what I found and to ask her about it. She said it was a boo-boo but after ripping out the pucker, found it was inserted because the block was too short within the seam allowance.

There is a lot of quilting put in there now to keep it all together in the future, as well as some hand stitching, and...a little glue. Wink, wink.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Stuff

It's weird this year to not be making a holiday quilt for somebody; anybody. Instead I've been focusing on other peoples gifts and their quilts. Which is okay...just weird.

Cindy's quilt is about 3/4 done. I'll get a little more done over the next two days between work time and then, hopefully, on Wednesday, I can finish it up.

A wet, heavy snow last night made it look so pretty outside that quilting with Christmas music was a definite plus, so today, while the snow still lingers before it melts, I'll do the same before heading out.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Same, but Different

Yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow will be more of Cindy's quilt. It's kind of freeing actually. Each of the 126 shadow boxes are quilted kind of the same, but yet entirely different then any others. No two will be exactly alike and it provides the opportunity to be creative and have fun!

I was disrupted yesterday quite frequently (despite my wanting to completely focus), and only achieved completion of 29 blocks. I need to buckle down today!

Handi Quilter is sponsoring a contest for a long arm quilt retreat in January. It's an all expenses paid four-day trip and all you have to do is submit a video on what inspires you to 'quilt as desired'. I just uploaded my video and I have no doubts of my not being picked as one of the finalists (my videography skills are extremely raw), but it was fun to make at any case.

In other personal news...we now have a[nother] PhD in the house. Andrew's dissertation defense yesterday went very well and he now has his PhD in Astrophysics. What a great accomplishment for my eldest son!

Back to my machine.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Phone Off, Long-Arm On

For the next few days, this will be what I'm up to. Other then my daily blocks from Australia, I'll pretty much be in front of DW. This is where we stopped last night (before my phone started ringing).

Nearly as nice as the picture
This idea was obtained from Pinterest and the customer (a fellow guild member) gave me the go-ahead to repeat it in her quilt. Last nights lighting doesn't do it justice (makes it look kind of bad actually). There are a total of 126 blocks to do like this. I only have 121 more to go. I'll need to do at least 20 per day to hit my deadline of next Thursday since I have to work on Monday and Tuesday next week. So, the phone gets shut off, the Pandora gets cranked and we rock and roll.