Monday, February 25, 2013

Before February Ends......

I thought that I'd make a quick update about what's been going on around here!!  Seems that my plan to post every two weeks isn't working!!  But this is what I've accomplished the past few weeks.

Work on Ann Smith is progressing at a slow pace.  I'm working on the over one scene and while not hard to do at all, it is very time-consuming.  I'm not fond of working with a magnifier, but one-over-one on 35 count calls for it:

It's very easy (at least for me) to get off count when working over one.  So I've found that I have to make adjustments here and there.  I stitched all of what there is of Adam last night.  It's amazing how much you can get done if you can find two interrupted hours for stitching.  Around here, unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.

This is where I was at the time of my last blog post:

And how it looks today.  I managed to get in some of the section above the red verse, the red verse, sky and scene below that is all over one.  Slow progress:

In the quilting arena, I have managed to get quite a few things done.  When I've found a half hour or so during the day (not every day unfortunately) I've been working along on the Sylvia Bridal quilt and managed to get all 10 blocks for the month done before the next set of blocks arrived.  Although, I got them done two days before - just in a nick of time.  These blocks are what I finished since my last blog post:

And here's the whole group so far - I still have six more to go before the next month of blocks show up here about mid-March or so:

I love these blocks and I've learned a lot working on them.  Probably more than I did with the Farmer's Wife blocks.  Although if anyone has worked on this quilt before, you probably know that the directions for these blocks - or some of them - leave something to be desired.  Blocks with five pieces are given directions to be foundation pieced, while blocks with 65 pieces are instructed to be pieced in the traditional way.  A little wonky if you ask me!  But still fun nonetheless.

If wrestling with those blocks and instructions weren't enough, I decided to finally make a journey into the land of Dear Jane and actually got one block finished!  Woo Hoo!  This project will take me years to finish as Jane is kind of a fill-in project, but one block down, only 224 more to go.  Yes, I know - the men with the white coats will probably be arriving at my door shortly!!

Considering that these blocks are 4-1/2 inches at this point (4 inches finished), I think it came out pretty good.  I won't mention how long it took me to put this block together though!  This was foundation pieced and I should mention that it took me far longer to put together than it should have.  I must learn to put the pieces on the foundation paper in the order that they are listed - not back-asswards like I did!  LOL

And seeing as I don't have enough to keep me busy, I also jumped on the Scarlett Letter Manifesto SAL that some of us are participating in, although I didn't make much progress on it.  I'm working on this on Wednesday nights when I have time.  The past two Wednesdays have not worked well for stitching, but I got a little stitched the first night:

Another one of those BAP's, but I love it, and I've really enjoyed working on it when I've been able to pick it up (okay, it was only one night - but I liked it!!).  I'm stitching it on 25 count Jobelan.  Not a fabric that people use much from what I've seen, but it works well with this piece (and it's a way to use up 10 year old stash!!).  I had actually thought of stitching this on 40 ct silk gauze.  The idea being that you would do it in tent stitch and it would progress faster.  But I decided that I don't necessarily want to go blind, so I shoved that idea in the drawer and I'll just continue with the 25 ct. Jobelan.

Then I joined in on the Sunday Santa SAL on Instagram (#sundaysantaxs).  If you are on Instagram, look me up - I'm Threadgatherer (makes sense, right?). I didn't get much done on it at all, although I do have the star and part of Santa's face in at this point - just too lazy to take a picture.  For a couple nights of stitching you would think that I would have more done, but unfortunately my brain seems to have a hard time wrapping itself around the thought of doing something small - like something that could be finished in a few days.  If it's not a BAP, then my mind rebels and forgets how to count!  I don't know why that is.

Red Santa
BOAF Designs
Mystery Linen and DMC

And last but not least - Baskets:

Nice, huh?  Look closely.  Do you see what I see?  They're not done, they're just pinned waiting for me to pick up needle and thread and get going on these again.  I hear that Siobhan is wiping my butt in the dirt with the baskets.  I think that she's has over 90 finished and I'm still hovering around the 50 basket count.  These were suppose to be my stitching project when DD did her three nights of dance - I would usually spend one night walking around the mall (exercise with some shopping thrown in - I walk fast around that mall, but not fast enough to miss a good bargain), one night of Zumba (conveniently located next door to the dance studio) and one night of stitching - but since she didn't dance this year, that idea got squashed.  But now it's time to pick them up again!!  The picture above shows about 50 of them prepped for stitching, so I better get moving!

Well, that has been my past few weeks!!  I hope that everyone has had a great month for accomplishing projects and have managed to stay warm.  We're still in the deep freeze here with another storm possibly predicted for tomorrow.  I'd love one last big dump of snow, and then the sun can come out and it can warm up.  I am going to be so happy when Spring gets here.

Thanks for stopping by and for your comments and emails.  I love hearing from you!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Finish and Other Whatnots

Hi everyone!!  I hope that you all had a great weekend!  And that you're staying warm!  We've been colder than anything around here lately.  I'm hoping that the groundhog is right this year and Spring comes early.  In my book, it can't come early enough.  I'm sick of all this cold!!

I finally tamed the beast in the form of the mitered borders on the Cotton Club and it's finished.  After months of putting the thing together and then another month (or two... or three) of stressing over the darned mitered border, I finally took myself by the arm, forced myself into the sewing chair and decided it was time to get it off the quilting WIP list once and for all.  So thanks to those wonderful videos on YouTube, here it is:

Ahem...Bailey, do you think that you could move?

Hello?  Bailey?  Do you hear me?  Hmmm, not listening, are you???  Darned dog!!  No surprise there - just like my kids when they were little (well, they're still that way - who am I kidding?).  Oh well, the lighting isn't good for a photo op anyway.  So a couple hours later the lighting got better and I convinced Bailey to go outside (I told him that there was a kitty cat in his yard), and here is my finish:

The Cotton Club
(mitered borders and all)

I don't know what my big fear was with mitering those borders - it turned out to be so easy (although you'll notice the fabric tails at the corners that I can't bring myself to cut off until the quilt has its final pressing just in case).  I'm so happy that it's finally done!!

In stitching news, Ann Smith is coming along although not as quickly as I had hoped.  A few nights where stitching time was a big fat zero.  But this is where I was last time I posted:

And this is where I was a couple days ago - Dear Son came home for a visit along with four friends from college this weekend and they camped out in our basement.  Can you say Dorm party?  Lots of cooking and washing (DS couldn't let an opportunity pass by without having mom do his wash) and laughing because of all the funny college stories they told and yes, there were a couple that I had to plug my ears - kind of - LOL):

The over one lettering and the sky just below that were the real time killers.  That took so long!!  But I'm loving her with her bright colors.  Although by my next post I may be hating her.  After this section, I have a whole section of over one.  If you hear some screaming and a car furiously gunning its engine and the squealing of tires (that is if our roads aren't all iced over as they have been here for a while, otherwise you can envision me furiously doing donuts in the street), you can rest assured that it will be me trying to run it over!!

After finishing up the Cotton Club I decided to start on one of the quilting projects I picked for this year.  Well, I lied.  I actually started two projects.  I started on Sylvia's Bridal quilt and got the first four blocks done.   Dear Jane will wait a little bit as I think that I'm learning a lot with these blocks that will serve me well when it comes time for Jane.  These are persnickety blocks - a little more detailed than the Farmer's Wife blocks.  Or maybe not - I think that with these blocks I'm given less fabric to work with than with previous Block of the Month programs, so I have to really take my time in cutting out the pieces.  The blocks will be a finished size of 6 inches.

Sylvia's Bridal Quilt BOM

I decided that since these blocks were rather time consuming I would also work on another quilt.  One that doesn't require a lot of brain power and can go together easily.  This was a kit from a local quilt store that I picked up during the summer and because of the fabrics - Blackbird Designs Antique Fair, I just had to have it.  I only have three blocks together at this point:

Easy peasy blocks that I can practically do blindfolded....well, maybe not.

So there you have it.  A little bit about what I've been up to since my last post.

And I have an apology too.  One of my plans (not a resolution, but a plan) was to post more and also comment more in 2013.  I have seriously lagged in the commenting department and I'm sorry for that.  It seems that I've needed a slight break from commenting because of things that have been going on around here  - nothing bad at all, just the kind of thing where you need to put attention to other things for a while.  Seems that once I got through my craft room, I proceeded to go through the house with reckless abandon cleaning out things.  I don't know about other people, but I get a huge sense of "Ahhhh" when I get things cleaned out.  I'm happy, the Salvation Army is happy, but it hasn't left me with much time to comment - and when I've had time, I put it into sewing as a reward for cleaning things out.  We're also gearing up to do some inside home improvements which means I'm driving around in my car looking for paint colors, bathroom vanities, etc.  BTW, did I mention that I hate looking for paint colors!!

So, I'm sorry and hopefully I'll be back to commenting more soon.  I think that my husband is getting a little worried that I'm going to empty out the entire house and buy all new things!  Well, it's been a thought!  Not really - maybe some new stash - but definitely not a whole house of goods.

Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for your comments!!  They truly mean a lot to me!!