Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Wednesday 29 February 2012

February UFO Report

I am happy to report that my February UFO, RRCB is done. So happy it is done, that it is worth writing about it twice. And showing the picture twice. LOL. Judy, at Patchwork Times has a linky up for those of us who worked on the UFO challenge last month. This month, she's pulled the number 8, which is my quilt Double Duty. The top is already made. This month's challenge is to get it quilted and bound. The bigger challenge is to figure out what to do with it. I know I want to do something that plays up the flying geese, and that follows the lights and darks of the log cabin blocks. But how, or what that will be....... haven't a clue, just yet. And that is one of the reasons it is still a UFO. I love the top, and the pattern, but haven't been able to figure out how to quilt it. Whatever I do, except for an all over edge to edge, which I don't really want to do, is going to involve starts and stops as the quilt is advanced, due to the diagonal placement of the geese. Any suggestions?
When I made up this years list for myself, I mixed it up with different type projects. Some had a lot of piecing left in them, some just needed a border or 2 and some were at the needing to be quilted and bound stage. Since this month's pick is one that needs quilting, it gives me a chance to play with other piecing, and maybe starting a new project, or 2, or maybe even 3 from my ever growing want to do list.

Monday 27 February 2012

Design Wall Monday Feb 27, 2012

I have my Bunny Hill Scrappy Dresden Plates up on my wall today. The centers are all stitched down, which was step 2. And step 3 hasn't come out yet, so this means I'm actually finished this step early, or at least on time. I would guess that the next step will be to sew them down to the background squares. I chose 5 different fabrics for the centers, and I'm going to lay them out like they are now, with each row of 4 blocks the same colour in the middle. They are a bit brighter in person than in the photo. It's hard to get accurate colours indoors, late afternoon, even when using the photo program to tweak the pictures, but it's close enough. I'm inking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. There is lots and lots of wonderful eye candy over there to look at.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Stash Report Week 9, 2012

Well, by the numbers is my stash report, it would look like I hardly got anything done this past week. I worked really hard last week, but just about everything had already been counted, since I count as I cut for a project. So the only thing I have to count last week was the fabric used for the centres of my Scrappy Dresdens. The circles are all cut, and all the edges finished, except for the last 5. So I can start sewing them on today.
You'll notice, maybe, that there are a couple of new buttons on my side bar. The New York Beauty is a project I found today, that starts in March. I have always loved those blocks, and always wanted to make a quilt out of them. This just might give me the push to actually do it. I know, the last thing I need is another new project, but I'm keeping up fairly well with the ones I'm doing, so one more cant hurt....... can it? There's another one there, as well, for a String Thing along, the challenge issued in it, to have a string quilt finished by June. Considering I still haven't decided exactly what I'm doing with it, that could definitely be a challenge. I have too many ideas for it, is the problem, and can't settle down to just one. Anyway, on to the numbers.

Used this week:                                .3 yards
Used thus year:                               21.3 yards
Purchased this week:                       0 yards
Purchased this year:                        57 yards
Balance:                                          35.7 more yards in than out.

I'm linking up to Judy's Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Saturday Summary

I have had the BEST week, well, except for not being able to go and visit Noel and Laurie and little Avery. The last time we went up to see them in January, the drive home was just a tad nerve wracking, since we ran into closed roads and blowing snow and a snowstorm. So we decided that we wouldn't risk it again this winter, which makes me kinda sad. I'm hoping for a Skype visit sometime today or tomorrow. But I've had all this past week off, and don't have to go back to work again until Thursday, so I had lots of time to sew and quilt.
The big accomplishment, of course, was getting RRCB finished. But in between that I've been doing other things as well. I loaded Make Your Point onto the longarm, and have gotten a start at quilting her. I had originally planned on doing the feathers through the whole quilt, but once I did one pass with them, I decided not to. First because they are quite time consuming, and second, because I think I would have lost the effect of the piecing. So I've decided to alternate the rows, one with the feathers, and the other with continuous curves. I'm liking the way it is looking.
The other things I've been working on lately, is a few customer quilts. This one is a lap sized that Christine did for her Nana. I had to do an overall feather meander on it, since that's what the quilt told me it wanted. And I'm becoming rather addicted to doing them. If you click on the pictures and biggie size them the quilting shows up better. I have a backlog of customer quilts up there, which are on my to-do list after Make Your Point comes off. When doing the customer quilts, I schedule one of my own after doing 4 or 5 of theirs. I have a really bad habit of forgetting to take pictures of theirs, though. I really am going to have to start being more conscious of that
Then yesterday, I sat at my machine for most of the day and finished piecing the rest of the Dresden plates for the  Bunny Hill Scrappy PlatesAll of the plates are now done, and I have the centers cut out, and ready to have their edges finished and appliqued in place. That's likely what I'll be doing this afternoon, until we go over to Matt and Becca's for supper. It's kinda strange, we all live in the same city, but still hardly get to see them very often. I think we might have seen more of Noel and Laurie this winter, who live 4 hours away, than we have of Matt and Becca.
And finally, I've been working on one of the stocking kits from Bucilla. This is the Golfing Snowman one for Matt. I chose this one to start with, as it had the smallest number of pieces, and also the smallest number of little bitty pieces. I am having a considerable amount of fun doing it. I think I might be hooked.  And it's all Debbie's fault. She showed some pictures of her collection here. And then she did a series showing the steps in actually making one and one of those posts is here. I have 4 of these to do, with a fifth as a possibility, although I haven't ordered it yet. I also have several ornament kits, as well. These have replaced the knitting I was doing for a while, although I'm sure at some point, I'll get back to it. And now, to go and work on Dredsen Plates. So much fun.

Friday 24 February 2012

I have a finish...... woohoo.....

Well, it's finished to a flimsy, at least. But considering the amount of work that was left to do on it, and that it was my February UFO, I think a few celebratory words are definitely in order, especially since there is still almost a week left in the month - double WOOHOO!! The quilt is Bonnie Hunter's mystery from year before last. called Roll Roll Cotton Boll, but I cheated, and changed it up to suit me. I left out half of the string pieced units, because I didn't want to do any more of them, and substituted some red yardage. Then when I got to the stage of putting the border on, there was a surprise. It was supposed to have a spacer border between the body of the quilt and the pieced border. But when I measured the quilt and the pieced border, it turned out that I didn't need the spacer. That's a good thing, since I auditioned all kinds of stuff to act as that spacer and had a hard time coming up with anything that I really liked. In fact, I like it best with them right beside each other. And, since this was February's UFO, and since there is almost a week left in the month, that means I can play with something else. This is getting better and better. I've joined in with the Bunny Hill Scrappy Dresden Plate quilt along. I have 13 of the plates made, with 7 more to go. I'm hoping to get most of them done today, since it is cold and damp and dreary outside, so I'll play with my bright and happy and spring like fabrics inside. I'll put my ipod in its dock, and sing along. Ah bliss. I'm linking this post up to a couple of places that celebrate finishes. One of them is Finish it up Friday, hosted by Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts. And the other is Can I get a Whoop Whoop, hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. And then there is another called Sew and Tell, hosted by Amy at the blog Amylouwho. I really like exploring all the different linky parties. There is always so much to see, different blogs to get to know, and lots and lots of inspiration. If you have some free time, grab a coffee, or a cut of tea, and so some surfing, without ever getting wet. And I'll add on another Friday finish celebration linky at Richard Quilts.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Why is cleaning so messy??

 I'm on part 2 of the reorganization of my studio. I had it all cleaned up, and workable at the beginning of the year, and now look at it.

All of that stuff came off a shelving unit that used to live in this spot. The only really useful stuff that was on the shelving unit were my books. The rest of it was mostly junk. My totally wonderful husband is putting up peg boards for me, mostly for thread storage. I used to keep my thread on a couple of book shelves, which were poorly lit, and the threads were hard to see. We bought 10 lengths of doweling that started off at 48 inches long. Scott cut them all into 4 1/2 inch lengths for me, and then he hammered them all into the peg board.Now, all my threads are well displayed, and easy to get at. And if I move the light on my cutting table a bit, the threads will be even easier to see. For some reason, this picture of my thread wall won't load right side up. It should actually be one quarter turn to the right. But you get the ideaIn addition to all this, I've also been purging all my old patterns. Ancient stuff that I'd forgotten I even had. Or stuff that was photocopied from the library, in the days before internet. Knitting patterns for sweaters that will never get made, plastic canvas stitchery that I will never do, all going to be recycled. All going out of my studio and giving me more space. I just wish it didn't make so much mess to clean up. The junk on the long arm table is almost all cleaned up. Now there is the cutting table stuff that came of the shelving unit to go through, and this phase of reorganizing will be done. There is still lots more stuff in this room to go through, but I'm getting there. Maybe halfway done, if not more. But for tonight, I'm done. I'll try and get it finished off tomorrow. All this means there has been no sewing for me today. (sigh)

Monday 20 February 2012

Design Wall Monday Feb 20, 2012

 I still have Roll Roll Cotton Boll up on the wall.  Hopefully this will be the last week for it. I had put the main body of it aside due to machine issues. But those issues have been very nicely cured, due to the purchase of this. So finishing this quilt is going to go much faster from here on in. All 4 borders are all pieced, and the last few rows of the centre need to be put on. Past that point, all I need to do is measure the finished centre of the quilt, in order to determine the sizes of the spacer borders, so that the pieced ones will fit. I am determined to have this done before the end of the month. It won't get quilted by the end of the month, but at least the top will be done. I'm late today, linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times. But I have a good reason, honestly, due to the previously mentioned purchase.

Also today, Bonnie Hunter is sponsoring a linky to talk about the varieties of thimbles out there, and which ones are our favourites, and why. I have tried, like most people, many different styles and types of thimbles, with none of them comfortably working well. I have really short and small fingers. So any of the normal type thimbles hit my finger right at the knuckle, and they hurt. I used to put up with it bu using a thimble that was a size bigger, and padding it with batting where it hit my knuckle. But then I found this one, made by clover, I believe. I saw it in the Keepsakes catalogue, and decided it was worth a shot. It is soft, and stretchy and fits perfectly, and doesn't hurt. It has one flaw, that it will bend where the metal and stretchy parts meet, if there is a lot of pressure put on it. I use it mostly for doing hand applique, so I don't know how it would hold up to hand quilting. I'll be linking up to Bonnie's Thimble's up monday with this post.

Look what came to live at my house....

This box came home with my wonderful husband this morning, who kindly went to fetch it while I was still having my first wake up coffee this morning.

What a wonderful way to wake up. There's the instruction book, and DVD

Almost there.

Oh goodie, quilting attachments....

And there she sits, all warm and comfy in her box. But she's coming out.

And there's my wonderful husband, who always has to examine the styrofoam packaging to see if there are any interesting sculpture possibilities.

And here she is, all ready to go into her permanent home.

Except that she doesn't quite fit. The platform is too deep, from where my old machine used to sit, and I can't get the plug in properly. 

So, my wonderful husband came to the rescue, and took the old platform off and cut it down to size and then put it back on underneath the table. He also cut a space at the side for the cords. And there, to the left, is sitting my Roll Roll Cotton Boll quilt that was giving my old machine so much trouble, getting snagged on all the seams. Well, I sewed the seam up on this beauty of a machine, and it just glided over those thick seams, like a hot knife through soft butter. I think this machine and I are going to get along very, very well. This quilt just might get very close to being finished tonight.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Stash Report Week 8, 2012

Well, I did an interesting thing last night. I was working 3-11, and the person for night shift called in sick. It turned out that there was no one available to replace her, so in a moment of weakness, I said I would stay and work a double.  I think it's been at least 15 years since I've done that, and being 15 years older didn't make doing it any easier. However, it wasn't a bad shift, most everyone slept really well, and there weren't any nasty bed changes required. And I managed to get to 6 am before I started to feel like I'd been hit like a truck. I slept for about 5 hours after I came home, so other than feeling rather groggy, it's not too bad. But I don't think I'll be repeating it soon. But, the good news is that they gave me this afternoon off, so at least I don't have to go back in this afternoon. That was the condition I set, before I agreed to do the double. I'm not sure what, if anything, I'll get accomplished today, but I have the next week off, so there is time. Maybe I'll just veg in front of the TV for the rest of the day, and maybe work on one of those Christmas stockings.

Anyway, I have numbers to report from the past week:

Used this week:                         5.2 yards
Used this year:                         21 yards
Purchased this week:                  0 yards
Purchased this year:                 57 yards
Balance:                                    36 more yards in than out.

And that in number is about to go up again. Vicki at LA Quilter is having a destashing sale, and I'm taking a couple of fat quarter towers off her hands. But it will be several weeks before they show up, so I won't count them until then. But they were so pretty, that I couldn't resist. Ah well, I'll just add them to my growing retirement fund. LOL. There are more Stash reports at Judy's Patchwork Times

Saturday 18 February 2012

Another morning after the friday night before.....

I managed to meet my goal of getting the borders for Roll Roll Cotton Boll all assembled. Now, all I need is my new sewing machine, and I can get the rest of the centre put together, figure out the size of the spacer border, and get these puppies attached, and it will be done. I was hoping the machine would show up yesterday, but it didn't maybe today, before I have to go to work. Anyway, back to the quilt... considering that this is my February UFO, it might even be done before the end of the month. The only problem I can see with it right now, though, is that there isn't any other green in the body of the quilt, but there is in the borders. These border units were the very first clue in this mystery, several years ago, and I'd forgotten about the green.  I was thinking of using a blue as the spacer border, but maybe a bluish green? I guess I'll decide once the top is all together and I can get it, and the borders on the wall together.

In addition to getting the borders done, I also decided to load Make Your Point, which meant making up the backing for it. So, all in all, it was a very productive Friday sew-in. Don't forget to go over to Heidi's place and see the really long list of people from all over the world who were also participating in the sew-in. I'm sure there will be lots of fun stuff to see.

Friday 17 February 2012

Friday Night sew in

I've been working away at RRCB, and I've finally ground to a halt with sewing the main body of it together. Not because I don't want to get it done, but because I finally declared "enough" with my old machine. It simply will not feed over the seams. Every time I hit a seam where a square meets a half square triangle unit, the machine seems to catch on it, and sews in place. So I have to be constantly reaching in behind it, and pulling the quilt through. I've tried all the adjustments, but frustration has finally won.
I've been researching machines for a while now, and it came down to 2 choices of makes..... Bernina or Janome. Bernina's are way over my comfort range for price, even when they are on sale. Plus the store that sells them is at least a half hour drive away. So, Janome it is. I have one on order, hopefully coming today.The page for the sale is found here, and the one I finally decided on was the 4120 QDC. I thought that was a fabulous price for what the machine has. I especially like the fact that it has 7 feed dog units, to the 4 my current machine has. And it comes with all the feet, including the walking foot, which is great for putting on bindings, or at least I had to use it with my old one. With all the extra feed dogs, I might not need to use it.
In the meantime, I've been working on customer quilts, (I'll do a separate post about that), and the border units for RRCB. The old machine will still do those. I'm going to participate in the Friday Night Sew-in, sponsored by Heidi. I'll post tomorrow about what I get accomplished tonight, hopefully the borders finished for Roll Roll Cotton Boll. See ya tomorrow.

Monday 13 February 2012

Design Wall Monday Feb 13, 2012

In between all the shifts I've been working this past week, I've been sewing on my February UFO. It has been giving me some trouble, though. I am really glad I didn't do all the string blocks, because no matter how careful I was, their edges stretched. And while the blocks measure the right size, the stretched edges don't. So there has been lots of pinning, which I don't usually do, and lots of easing the fullness in, which means some of the squares are rather poofy. But, I still like the way it looks, so it will be worth it, I hope, in the end. Once I get the centre of the top finished, I'll do the pieced border. Then, I'll measure the 2 of them, and put in the needed spacer border to make it fit. Another day should see the rest of it sewn together, and then I can start on the borders. Looking at it right now, I'm thinking that the spacer border is going to be blue, but I'll have to check my stash, once I get to that point, and see what's there, and what I have enough of to do the job. Any more red would just over power it, I think. Anyway, that's it for me for today. I'm linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday over at her blog, Patchwork Times. There looks like there is all kinds of wonderful eye candy to see over there.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Stash Report Week 7, 2012

I haven't done anything with writing in this blog since last Monday, But I have a good reason, honest I do. I've been working, with only one day off at a time, and then back to work again. That's the down side to having taken 12 days off a couple of weeks ago. I have to cram all the shifts in at once, if I want to keep our bills happy.  Oh well.........
On the good side, I've been sewing during my time off, since there really isn't anything else to do, except housework and laundry, which is part of today's plans, or I won't have any clean uniforms to wear when I go back to work again tomorrow. (sigh) My February UFO is my Roll Roll Cotton Boll, and I've made good progress on it. All the pieced blocks are done, and the hour glass units are cut, and waiting to be sewn together. I just might have all the block components made today, and ready to start sewing the top together.  I hope to have a picture for tomorrow's design wall post. I am really determined to get these UFO's done, so I am focused on it, and haven't even started anything new. But I must confess that I hope next month's number is an easy one, so I can start one of those many quilts on my want to do list. And get some time to quilt some of those quilt tops waiting on the to-be-quilted list. Anyway, on to the numbers.......

Used this week:                                    2 yards
Used this year:                                    15.8 yards
Purchased this week:                                  0 yards
Purchased this year:                            57 yards
Balance:                                     41.2 more yards in than out.

I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times Sunday Stash report linky  

Monday 6 February 2012

Design Wall Monday Feb 6, 2012

I've got a couple of things going at the moment. Well, if I'm being totally honest, more than a couple........ Anyway, to be more accurate, a couple of things on my wall. After finishing Endless Chain last week, I wanted to work on something fun, and relatively non complex. So I've been sewing Scrappy Dresden Plates for the Quilt Along from Bunny Hill Designs Twelve are pieced together, but I have 8 more to do, because I want mine bigger than the instructions call for. I like to make quilts that will fit double or Queen size beds. They would then also work on a twin, but would hang all the way to the floor on the twin, depending on the height of the mattress.  I think I am going to do different coloured solids or tone on tones  for the centers.
The other thing I'm working on is my February UFO which is Bonnie Hunter's mystery from Last year, Roll Roll Cotton Boll. But I'm putting my own personal twist into it, since I really don't want to make any more of the 8 1/2 inch string squares. So I'm substituting a red fabric for half of them.

It doesn't look like much on the wall, as yet. But I did up a virtual quilt in EQ7 using this layout, and it looks quite good. From a distance there is almost a curvy look to it with this layout. Once the borders go on, I thing it will work quite nicely. To see other walls. head on over to where I'm linking up, at Patchwork Times And now, I'm going to see if I can get some piecing done on this baby before I have to go in to work this afternoon.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Stash report Week 6, 2012

Nothing to report this week. Not because I didn't do anything, but because it's already been counted. If all goes according to plan, though, I should have more used numbers next week. I've been working on the Scrappy Dresden Plate quilt along sponsored by Bunny Hill Designs, and I have 12 of the plates made. Now, if I were working according to instructions, I'd be done with them. But, I want my quilt bigger than the stated 62" x 78", so I'm making 20 instead of 12. I notice the next step is up today, which is to sew on the centre circles.
I also pulled my February UFO out of its box, and took a look at it. My #1 UFO is listed as Bonnie Hunter's Roll Roll Cotton Boll, and it still has a lot to do on it, so I think I'm going to set the Dresden Plates aside for a while, although I will put up a picture of them tomorrow, and start on finishing up this UFO, and see how far I can get.
Now for the numbers, which are unchanged from last week. I exercised some restraint this week, by the way. The store Thousands of Bolts is having a sale on their fat quarters and I am resisting. There is no room in my fat quarters drawer for any more. So sometime, I'm going to have to do something about using some of them up. Anyway........

Used this week:                    0 yards
Used this year:                    13.8 yards
Purchased this week:            0 yards
Purchased this year:            57 yards
Balance:                             43.2 more yards in than out

I'm linking up to Judy Laquidara's Stash Report at Patchwork Times.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

January UFO status........

I DID IT!!! Woohoo, yippee, hurrah...... With ten hours to spare before the end of January 31st, Endless Chain became a finished flimsy on Tuesday. And, if I do say so myself, she is beautiful.I think, of all the UFO's I had listed, this was the one that was both the most challenging, and the most work. So, in theory, all the rest should be a lot easier. This month's number is 1, which on my list, is Bonnie Hunter's Roll Roll Cotton Boll. There is still a lot to do on it, but, unlike Endless Chain, there will be no set in "Y" seams. Each and every one of the 81 hexagons in that quilt were done with set in seams. What on earth was I thinking? That makes finishing RRCB child's  play in comparison. I was going to substitute for an easier one, but on reconsidering, I thought it would be a good idea to get the intense ones out of the way before spring and summer, and spending lots of time outdoors, and going to various provincial parks. Although I have been known to take my sewing machine with me, on occasion, which causes my husband to just stand and shake his head at me. Anyway.......
Here's a close up of a section of the quilt, and a good shot of not only some of those "Y" seams, but also of the variety of the fabrics in this quilt. I love the little mouse face peeking out. It was a lot of fun to do, in spite of being so challenging. However, I don't think there will be another like it from me. According to past posts on my blog, this quilt was started in March of 2010, so it's taken 2 years to get it to this point. Granted, there was no work done it it during a large part of those 2 years. It feels so GOOD to have it done to this stage.
I'm linking up to Patchwork Times, and the linky party that Judy is hosting for those of us who met our goal of finishing our January UFOs. And this also means that I also have something to enter for the Finish it up Friday  hosted by AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Oh, one more thing, if anyone has any suggestions on how to quilt this thing, I would be very grateful because at the moment I am totally stumped.