Monday, February 20, 2017

Much nicer garbage bag

For many years I've had an old paper bag sitting beside the cutting map to throw trimmings, scraps and threads in while I'm working.

This weekend I went to the guild retreat at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.  It was a very good weekend.  As part of the weekend, there was an optional gift exchange.  I missed the actual exchange as I had an appointment at the spa but when I came back there was a bag with a pop-up catcher pattern complete with a fat quarter on my chair.  This morning I opened it up and spent and pleasant hour or so putting it together.

Here the two are together. I'll retire the paper bag and just leave the pop up out.

If I ever decide I want to remove it from the table and store it, there's a bit of elastic to hold it squished down and a little loop for hanging. Very tidy!

A very pretty and useful gift.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

February Quilting Goal

Patty at Elm Street Quilts has one monthly goal open for February for just a few more days.  I had to think a bit about which project to work on this month.  There are several to choice from.  But in the end Flakey Friends, from The Quilt Patch, won.  Its been a year since I worked on it at the guild retreat.  There were 12 snow flakes left to stitch.  Friday night I stitched two of them.  It took about 35 minutes each.  The snowmen and stars at the top also need their stitching.  Then once the top is assembled there are some additional stars to be added and the bottom snowman needs his other arm.

When I first started the stitching I played with some stitches on the machine to see which I liked best on this scrap from the quilt.  I pinned a note with the stitch number, width and length that I liked.  Fortunately it caught kept with the project.  (Although last year when I blogged about this quilt after the retreat, I did include a similar photo just in case).

The goal this month is to finish all the blanket stitching and assemble the top.  I think I should be able to make an appointment and go quilt it and get it fully finished.  I purchased backing when I ordered the kit so I don't even have to figure that out.  I do need to check the size to see if it needs to be pieced or if it needs leaders/enders to fit on the long arm. 

I bought this kit in 2012 thinking it would be quick to make and would be cozy to cuddle under after some surgery later that year.  Surgery came and went and the kit sat in its box behind the cutting table.  As much as I like the quilt for some reason it languished in its shipping box until November 2014. This will be the month to finish this quilt and finally get to snuggle under it and enjoy a good book.

The other thing that needs to happen this month is to due this month's clue from January's goal.   I want to keep up with the guild BOM for the rest of the mystery so I dont have bits and pieces laying about come September.  But the main goal is my snowman friends.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

January Review

January has been a very productive month.  Earlier last year, I took a bag of 6" fabric squares from the Community Outreach table at guild to make into a quilt.  At retreat last year, I was using these as enders and leaders to stitch into  9 patches.  Late last year, I finally dug them out from the bottom of the table, finished piecing the 9 patches (while piece 6" blocks for the 365 quilt!) and then did a disappearing 9-patch with them.  The top is now ready to take to the guild meeting this week.

The 365 quilt got quilted and bound.  It still wants a label and hanging sleeve which I should finish shortly.  There were some bonus blocks that I want to make to use in the label.  For the binding, I wanted the colours to change as it went around including some changes in corners.  A google search  lead me to Cheryl Arkinson's wonderful tutorial on how to do this.  I actually found the corners much easier to deal with than the usual continuous bias that I use. 
The Quilts of Valour hugs block got made and is ready to mail (I forgot to get a picture before I sealed up the envelope) and two floating star blocks for the guilds outreach program got made.  That pattern had been lost on the cutting table for a long time so I'm not sure if they still want them.  Guess I'll find out at the meeting.
Yesterday my sister and I went out to Whirls and Swirls and played at the front of the long arm.  I have some quilts I'd like to do on the long arm but not use a pantograph so it was an afternoon of playing.  First up was just a small piece that I tucked some insul-bright into.  I'm making thermos covers for when we hike and needed to quilt before making the covers so figured I might as well make use of the quilt sample.  Then I put a top on that was the result of a block exchange many years ago and did free motion quilting on it.  I'm please with how it turned out.  The binding is added, it just needs to be stitched down. I'll get a better picture of this once its finished.
And finally, my One Monthly Goal for January was to get caught up with the guilds block of the month.  I had just done step one at the beginning of the month -- pick fabrics.  Since then I've completed October to January and now have a stack of 48 rail fence blocks with half square triangles added to two corners and the cutoffs stitched and pressed into squares

Status at the beginning of the month

Status at the end of the month
This was also my goal for Elaine's Motivational Monday.  The balance of the goal there is to keep up with the steps as I pick them up over the balance of this guild year.  As part of Motivational Monday, I've been keeping a list of what I'd like to get done each week.  As things get done, they get marked off.  Its been really nice to look back over the month to date lists and see what all did get accomplished with my quilting.  Next up is to pick one of the projects I've identified for this year and plot out what will happen to it in February.