Monday, January 11, 2021

Making progress


I've made some progress on all of my projects this week - EXCEPT - the UFO I'm supposed to be working on this month. 

Sunny Lane is starting to look like a quilt. The blocks are huge - 16.5 inches. I've been making a few every night. I was a little worried about the muted colors with the dark burgundy but I think it will be okay. With no border this quilt will be 64 x 80 inches. Finding something for a border may be difficult since I've had this fabric over 10 years. I'll wait until it is a flimsy then decide.

I made progress on my blackwork project and got the first week's section completed (I'm still behind a week). This year's project is by a different designer. It will be all florals which is a little harder to do than just fillers. Using multiple colors is also adding to the challenge but I'm already in love with this.

This is week one of the Exploding Heart sew-along. I got my florals cut out but didn't have a piece of background fabric large enough. Poor me had to go shopping. I also picked up a couple of pieces from the clearance section.

Tomorrow I'm going to work on my UFO cross stitch project...writing a commitment here does help hold me accountable.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

 So far 2021 is not off to a good start but I'm not going to judge the year by the first 4 days.

I did finish my Peppermint Purple blackwork stitch-along.

I really enjoyed working on this project this past year and decided to participate in Steady Thread's stitch-along this year. I'm going to do the English garden layout.

Which I may regret as I've frogged more of this layout than I've stitched - also using 18 count Aida which I may also regret, my poor old eyes are already yelling at me. Both designers have free stitch-alongs for 2020 and 2021 and lots of free patterns on their websites and Facebook pages.

I keep a spreadsheet with all my UFOs and WIPs. UFOs include anything started in prior years including finished unquilted tops. WIPs have to at least be partially cut out and started in the current year. In 2020 I started 20 new projects, finished 19 quilts (finished as in quilted and binding attached), and donated 9. Twelve of my UFOs were not touched at all, including 6 unquilted tops.

I am going to keep tracking my quilts on the spreadsheet. I've also joined American Patchwork's UFO Challenge. My list includes quilt and cross stitch UFOs and fun projects/kits I want to work on for me.

January's UFO is a cross stitch project I started last summer and have not touched in months.

It may not get done in January but I'm hoping I can make progress.

I fudged a bit on the fun projects list as I had already signed up for the Exploding Heart sew-along.

These are some of the fabrics I'm going to include (not the rose with the yellow background). I've had all of these fabrics for a very very very long time. The blocks for the Exploding Heart are small so I think all you'll see is blue, pink, yellow and green. Whatever is left over is going into the donated fabric bag.

 Check back here the beginning of February to see how I do.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Happy (almost) New Year!


2020...Bah Humbug!

2019 was sad and stressful, 2020 was sad and depressing, 2021 has got to be better....right? Please say yes.

The holiday was nice, my niece and her family were here Christmas Eve. Christmas day was very quiet. My mom and I had leftovers and played cards.

Gotta show off my mom's tree. 

Always pretty. My mom say's she doesn't decorate as much as she used to but she could not  prove it if you looked around her house. Lots of decorations. Very festive. 

I've made more progress on my blackwork project. The last row is 1/3 finished so I should be able to finish it before New Year's Eve.

I'm trying to decide if I want to participate in a 2021 sew-along. I should work on one of the three cross stitch projects I've started. I have a feeling I will participate in a monthly blackwork sew-along, then maybe I can do both (don't hold your breath).

I have been working on my Sunny Lane doesn't require any brain power. Lots of chain piecing.

Bella was helpful as always.

I hope you all have a very happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2020

There was real sewing done this week!

Cause I got a new baby!

It is a Baby Lock Presto II. It has everything on my wish list except a knee lift. But I got a really good deal on the machine and so far I am very happy with it. Do you see how bright the light is? It has TWO led lights! Somebody must have finally smacked the sewing machine manufactures upside the head - add more lights! The bed of the machine is nice and wide also. Although I did order an extra large Sew Steady table for quilting, for general piecing I won't need it.

While I was playing / testing with the in-store machine I pieced this little runner. I quilted it at home using the walking foot. Funny how you get used to things a certain Bernina walking foot is a wide toe with clear plastic center. The new one is for straight stitching only, it is narrow and all metal. With the clear plastic I had to use my eyes to stay in the ditch, with the new walking foot I have to align the foot appropriately...time will tell which I like better.

I did more in the ditch quilting and some free motion quilting on the little patriotic runner. FMQ was a breeze! If you click on the picture you can see the stars I quilted better.

It has 100 built in stitches and 4 alphabets. I used one of the decorative stitches to quilt this little hexie topper.

There was also lots of slow stitching with binding and blackwork (finished another row).

And (doin a happy dance) I emptied another scrap bin. One more to go.

I found the deeper into the bin I got the more scraps went into these giveaway / donation bags.

If you want scraps I will happily send you some.

I hope you all have a safe and very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Not a Single Stitch


On the sewing machine. I have been catching up on my blackwork. I think I'm still behind about 10 weeks. 

I'm also still working on cutting up and sorting scraps. 

I have a 5 drawer tower that had holiday fabrics in it. I went through it, cleared out the non-holiday fabrics, refold fabric that had been stuffed into it, and cut up everything that was less than a fat quarter. My holiday fabric is now neatly organized in 3 drawers.

I also emptied another bin that was mostly 2.5 inch strips that had been dumped into it along with a few other scraps. They are now folded, sorted by color and in these bins:

The bin I'm going through now is mostly crumbs. I don't like crumbs. I also don't feel like cutting things into small squares. So...if it isn't at least 2.5 x 5 it will probably go in the garbage. I KNOW! I'm horrified also, but I have so many scraps that I really don't need to be keeping the itty-bitty stuff. Even the not so itty-bitty stuff. Maybe I'll stuff them in baggies and take them to the next guild meeting (whenever that might be).

Another gadget that I am loving is this True Sharp rotary blade sharpener. I got this, in it's unopened package, at an estate sale a few years ago for almost nothing - they are expensive, but it has been the best sharpener I've ever had. For as expensive as rotary blades are, I think this gadget would be worth the actual retail price.

This not very helpful cat got a hair cut today. She is lucky she didn't get a new bobbed tail.

I did some Christmas shopping this past week. At one of my stops I looked down and saw this...

I just had to take a picture. ;o)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Barely Sewing


I'm just not in the mood. I am still cutting up scraps. I've emptied one large bin and started on another small one. I did find a couple of odd blocks / scraps that I played with / sewed into mug rugs / small table toppers.

Don't ask, don't know. Just sewed them together. The green will be the back.

Only one of these was completely framed. I finished framing the other two and will back them with the yellow gingham.

I cut these out when I was experimenting with the lollipops in Violet's Bakery a few years ago. Sewed them together and will back them with the fabrics above them.

So if we have Christmas in July doesn't it make sense to make a patriotic runner in December?

I have partially cut out this mini from some of my larger scraps. Who knows when it will actually get sewn but since I cut it out I did add it to my work in process spreadsheet.

While I haven't been doing much sewing I have been making a lot of progress on my blackwork sampler.

I've finished five rows since the last time I showed my progress. I'm still very behind but I'm determined to finish this 2020 stitch along in 2020. I haven't decided it I'm going to participate in the 2021 stitch along or finish a few of other cross stitch work in process projects.

I have been listening to audio books while I've been cutting up all the scraps and stitching. Thank goodness for my library card and Overboard. Never fails, 3000+ audio books to chose from and I can never find anything to listen to (kinda like nothing to wear with a closet full of clothes).

Monday, November 30, 2020

No Sewing


I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I had my small family here for dinner. I tried something new, I flattened my turkey (I need new knifes) by removing the backbone and did a semi-dry brine.

Looks weird huh? Sorry, forgot to take the after picture. It was really good and cooked REALLY fast. 14 lb turkey in about 1.5 hours at 350. I was scrambling to finish the rest of the meal. I will definitely do this again.

Isn't this pretty? Turkey enchilada casserole. Great way to use up leftovers. It was really good.

Saturday I supported my (not very local) small businesses.

One of the not so local quilt shops sells fabric and sewing supplies on consignment and from quilter's estate sales, most of the goodies came from there at a crazy low price. 

I haven't touched my sewing machine this past week. I did clean up my sewing area a bit and did a lot of cutting. A few months ago I splurged and bought a Creative Grids Stripology XL ruler. I love this thing.

It is a little awkward to use at first but once you get the hang of it cutting is a breeze.

My mom and a friend of hers gave me a bunch of their fabric. All had been cut into. I cut them up into 10 and 5 inch squares, 2.5 x 5 inch strips, 2.5 inch strips and squares. I've also cut up all the dog coat fabric I got at a garage sale last summer.

I've almost emptied one bin of scraps! The scraps above are not good quality (yes I am a fabric snob) and will be donated somewhere. Below are some of the scraps I'm keeping.

What would you do with over 4 inches of 5 inch squares?