Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Big UFO List

Okay, here we go.  The UFO list.  We'll just see how much time I've got.  I usually put too much on my To Do List and then am upset that I failed.  So, this year, I'm going to give myself more flexible expectations.  First off, we have my Beloved Baltimore quilt.  There are (25) 8" blocks for this and I just finished #13, half way there.
 This block really had me experimenting with 3D flowers.  Pretty cool.  I also hand wove the basket out of my own hand-dyed silk ribbon.  Quite the stretch for me.
 I had finished this frame previously but was totally stumped on what to put in the center.  I opted for some broiderie perse.  I'm very happy with the results.  Again, stretching my abilities.  Can't say I've done broiderie perse before, quite fiddly.
Did the same with this frame.
Obviously, have done no more on Mosaics.  I've only got the center and all the paper pieced hexis done and that's it.  Kind of bleak.
TAS did a class on Reverse Applique, this is the block I finished.  Now to figure out what to do with it.  I bet I can come up with something.  I'm seeing yellow rickrack...
Pink Flamingo quilt.  Have not gotten very far at all.  There are a dozen star blocks.  I always planned on adding some appliqued flamingos.  Eh, we'll see.  No idea about this one but it'll be cute when I'm done, I'm sure.
I did 53 of the Splendid Sampler blocks.  I'm thinking about doing alternating 4-square blocks in red and pink.  I may downsize to 52 blocks and get rid of that purplish one on the left.  That's a lot of blocks, so we'll see how it goes.  But, I definitely want to do something with them.
Bonnie Hunter's Mystery from last year needs to be assembled.  I've seen so many other people finish this one and I love it!  So, I just need to dig in.

I had all but forgotten about my Harry Potter Bookcase!  I don't care for paper piecing and Hedwig's feather fabrics are in the wrong place but I really want to finish this one!  I'm already about 1/2 way through my annual Harry Potter Marathon.  I have 3 more blocks printed out but I don't know how big I was going with this.  That would be a tall, skinny quilt.  Perhaps, I was going to print more after I'd gotten these done.  I also need to procure some wood grain fabric for the actual shelving.
Then, there's my Valentine quilt.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  At some point, it really bothered me that my birds weren't cohesive.  I switched them out myself, so I have no one to blame but myself.  And, that one bottom center is ugly.  Not sure if this one will ever see the light of day or should I just finish them individually as mini-quilts.
Then, there is the guild's Block of the Month.  Obviously, that won't finish until May but I do need to stay caught up.  Then there's the President's Challenge due in May.  I could get that done and out of the way before Prom Season sets in.

Alright, I certainly have my work cut out for me.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Next 25 Years Begin Now

Hello Friends!  I've got so much to share with you!!!  I'll try to split it all up so I don't give you major photo overload.  I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic.  Mine certainly was.  As soon as it was over we went into massive overdrive to prepare for my Vow Renewal last weekend!  Rich wanted to celebrate out 25th Wedding Anniversary with a big party.  I'm happy to say it all went fairly smoothly and I'm really happy Rich made me do it.  This is a snap shot that my sister-in-law sent to me.  I'll share a better picture when I get them back from the photographer.  From left to right: Sierra, Bethany, me, Rich, my brother Luke, Hunter's nose, then Ethan and my step-daughter Alyssa.  I have a beautiful family, what can I say...  The venue was super fancy, we rented Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis.  It's an old family home turned museum that is next door to the Lemp Mansion.  Apparently, there was gun fire during the ceremony.  Never a dull moment with the Mantz'.

I had a week of vacation to prepare for that.  Now, my seasonal layoff starts!  Yeah!  My favorite time of the year!  So I only go to work 8 hours a week until mid-January.  What does that mean?  Time to revisit my UFO list and see what I can reasonable expect to finish.  My Hungarian Heritage quilt is high on my list to complete.  I had to take my machine in for servicing but I figure I can cut out the pieces and get them ready for the stitching.  Only 2 left.  I did decide to make 3 more that go the wrong way to make up for the mistake I made previously.  Maybe 1 in each corner.

Another easy finish will be my clam shell quilt.  It was about an inch off square so I'm blocking it as we speak.  I liked it better before.  I think I wish I'd used a solid for the borders but I don't know if it means enough to me to change it out at this point.

I'm finished with my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2017.  I bought a hexagon template to square up my hexis but it was the wrong size!  Dang it!  So, I trimmed best I could.  A couple are a little smaller than the others and I wonder if I printed the patterns out wrong to begin with.  That pesky "print to fill page" non-sense bites me in the butt from time to time.  Here's a couple ideas for the end product.  I've got to finish off each one and then sew them together.

Okay, I'll give you a break for now.  Next time, I'll show you the bigger list... The ones I'm not sure if I have a shot at finishing. I'm pretty sure my list is longer this year, which is dumb.  I like to keep it under control but there is always a shiny new project right in front of me!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chernobyl Ivy and other Artistic Endevors

 Happy Halloween!  Hope your day was full of cute ghosts and goblins and Batman.  We never have trick or treaters but I'm always prepared!

I got the chance to do some ribbon dying last weekend!  Yeah!  I'm loving the new colors I got, really saturated and yummy!  Thanks to the generous donation from Dana D. last year.  It took me awhile but I finally got the chase to try them out! (I dyed so much ribbon last year, it took me a year to sell it all!)  So much ribbon!!!
 These 4 are original colors but I left them in longer and they turned out SO MUCH BETTER!
 Then, I worked on my Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  I'm so close to the end.
 2 blocks left!  I ordered an 8.5" hexi template but it's been on back order forever.  So, I won't be finishing any of them until that comes in.  I want them to be the same shape and size so they go together better than my last one!
I've started quilting my Irish Chain.  I haven't taken any pictures buy I will.  I'm doing a meandering ivy in the 'chain' part and the open spots have a feathered circle.  The feathered circle is turning out much better than the ivy.  I'm referring to them as Chernobyl Ivy, to give you a reference.

That's about it.  Rich and Bethany have been really sick.  Rich is very needy when he's sick.  Petulant 5 year old comes to mind... but hopefully he'll be bouncing back soon.  Talk to you soon!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Life Is One Big Learning Experience

Hello Friends!  Wowzers, what a month!  I tell you what, it'll be awhile before I book my calendar that tight again!  Sometimes you can't help it but, jeez, that was a rough one!  Not to mention we've been crazy busy at my day job.

First, I'm super pleased to say that my first guild presentation seemed to go fairly well.  Let me just say, it was a very near disaster.  I didn't realize I needed to bring ALL my own equipment for the presentation.  Luckily, Katie M and a random IT guy came to my rescue in the nick of time.  Everything I do is a lesson in life.  Everything.  Next time, I'll know better!!!  Anyways, I didn't make a complete fool of myself.  Sales were wonderful!  And, on Saturday I gave a Back Basting Applique class.  We did the block for this pillow.  That was much easier.  It helps to be surrounded by friends!  So, if you know any guilds interested in hiring me for a class/ presentation, let me know.
I had tons of fun and torment while traveling this summer to quilt shows.  Again, everything is a learning experience.  My most recent, Urbana, was almost a complete bust.  I'm not sure if it was the weather (it rained the whole time), if it was the days of the show ( Friday and Saturday) or if they just didn't like what I had to offer.  But, I learned some more stuff about traveling and how I want to present my shop.  It's obvious that I need to diversify and I need more samples!  Samples, samples, samples!  So, now that I'm slowing down (pretending to), I got back to work on my Hungarian Heritage quilt.  I do have this book for sale in the shop and I LOVE it!  I got 2 more blocks done.

The project so far.  It's going to be pretty big.  I didn't buy enough red to do the borders, so I'll have to figure something out.  Naturally, my distributors don't have it in stock any longer.  Distributors are another thing I'm trying to figure out.  Note that the middle block, far left is not set right.  Booo!  But, I don't know that it screams at you.  So, I can either do a few more wrong and pretend it was on purpose or just let that one be it's own unique self.
 Here's the center block for my President's Challenge this year.  I'm calling it Blue Danube.  I'm loving it so far.
 Then, randomly, I decided to start a whole new project that has nothing to do with anything other than I'd been planning it for awhile.  I've got some grey fabric with pink flamingos on it that has been in my stash for a few years now.  Naturally, I decide that it can't wait and I have to start it in the middle of my craziness.
 I'm using star blocks that I had downloaded during Turning Twenty's block of the month a few years ago.  I knew they'd come in handy eventually.
 Nice big, easy blocks.
 I should end up with 12 stars and then I'll figure out how to get the flamingos incorporated.
 The guild's BOM from last month.  I didn't have it ready in time for the meeting but I treated myself to some embroidery afterwards, since I hadn't completely humiliated myself...  I'm using some of the Wildflowers thread that I sell in the shop.  So pretty up close!
 The project so far.  I've got a new one to work on this month.  That'll be my treat for finishing Hungarian Heritage.
I still have 3 quilts on my UFO list but things aren't looking good.  If I concentrate, I might get one of them quilted.  Both my Clamshells and Irish Chain tops are finished.  But, that means making a backing, basting, quilting and binding before the November meeting.  I MIGHT get one done.  MIGHT!

And, that brings us mostly up to date!  My next "event" will be at Frieden's Church here in Troy on 11/11.  Right down the street!  No hotel, no long road trips!  Hope you can all stop by to see the shenanigans!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What's Next?

 Well, I don't know about you but I feel like a Whirling Dervish.  I keep telling myself that things will settle in once -insert event- is done but there just always seems to be something else following it. I guess it's good, I don't think I'd enjoy boredom.  

This is a quilt I made a few months ago for a co-worker's baby.  I may have shared already... not sure.  Chad's a volunteer fireman so the piggy fireman was perfect!  I love it!

I had made a bag for another co-worker several years ago for her to take on vacation to Hawaii.  It lasted at least 5 years but she commissioned me to make a new one for her.  She said it could be any fabric that I wanted.  So, I made this cute red, green and blue bag.

What she meant to say was that she wanted purple and bigger.  So, I made another one.  She kept both and gave one as a gift to her sister.  I really enjoyed making them!  It's a pretty great bag if I do say so myself.  I should have taken a close up of the button on the purple bag.  It was fabulous!

This month we had 2 BOM from the guild.  I love this deer but I may have to use a different thread for his antlers, they're pretty pale right now.

The second one might be my favorite so far.  It's so delicate.
 I've managed 1 more block for Hungarian Heritage.  This quilt is stunning but I don't enjoy sitting at the machine, stitching around all those pieces.  It's on my UFO list, so it's GOT to get done!!

Speaking of UFOs, 'Roberta Anne with an E' is quilted.  It took FOREVER.  The struggle to find thread that my Pfaff likes, other than Aurifil continues.  On my way to Peoria, I stopped in at the Quilt Corner in Morton.  It's a lovely shop, especially if you like primitives and wool.  I bought some Presencia and King Tut quilting threads to test.  They worked with the right needle.  So, I may invest further.  I'm not aware of a store locally that carries the Presencia, so that may be what I go with.  I wasn't too keen on the idea of buying a case of every color I needed to quilt these blocks.  My machine refuses to quilt with the transparent stuff...
Last but certainly not least, I finished a store sign for my vendor booth!  I blew up my logo and machine appliqued it.  It's surrounded by pink rick rack and quilted with meandering hearts.  Aaahhhh... right?

But wait, there's more!  While in Peoria, I started a family tree!
What's next you ask?  Well, next week I'm going to the fall Padukah show for the first time!  Just as a visitor, mind you.  Then the weekend of the 23rd, I'm headed to the Sweet Inspirations quilt show in Elk Grove Village!  I'm busily prepping new inventor from a new distributor, store samples and dinner plans with my nephew and his family who live in Chicago!  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finally Got Some Inspiration

Recently I ordered Kathy Shaw's new book "Fancy Seam Designs" and it was just what I needed to get inspired for my CQJP.  I had really stalled on this because I find the monochromatic theme so limiting.  Or should I say, CHALLENGING.  I finished my June block, then went back and re-did a few things on previous blocks.

 It also helped to a little shopping on Etsy.  I got a few brass pieces to add.
 I took out some chunky beads and replaced it with embroidery.  The more delicate seam is much more to my liking.  I also tried a smidge of goldwork.  The bottom bee hive... meh.
 This is my favorite so far.  The white button is made of bone.  I picked it up at a gem show last year that Ethan drug me to.
 I'm excited to share that I've been giving quilting lessons to Sierra's 1st grade teacher!  Barb has her first grandbaby and couldn't wait to make a baby quilt!  She's a little farther than this already.  She's added some applique borders top & bottom.  It's super cute!  I'll share another photo when she's done.
 I worked on our guild's BOM.  It's an alien, right?  Something was really bothering me with the coloring.  It seamed so faded...  only to realize I'd attached the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  So, since I had to do it a second time, I changed the stitches around a bit.  Still looks like an alien that's flipping me off with it's leafy hands.  I sense much anger... don't let the hearts fool you.

 Last but certainly not least, I made a bunch of these cuties.

 I don't know where her smudges came from.  Must have been on the wood...

 And this girl, will do the worrying for you.

I think that's enough for now.  I've got a bunch more but I've been slacking with the picture taking!  Next weekend I'm off to Peoria for my next quilt show vending!!  If you're looking for something to do 8/26 & 27, come over to the Peoria Convention Center!