Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NewFOs for January

Although I posted about Barbara's challenge here, I didn't expect to be doing any since I DO have UFOs and am in TWO challenges to finish them!  But a three week stint of jury duty muddled my brain enough to sap my UFO focus and energy and I didn't work on my other challenge projects much.  So what's a girl to do?  Start new projects of course!

My two NewFOs are minis because I figured that they would be quick to make. They were started on Thursday, right after my jury duty stint was over.  By then I only had five days to make my UFO deadlines and with errands to run and other obligations, I really didn't see myself  getting much done on them in that time.  So instead I worked on these babies and over three days, picked out all the fabrics cut and sewed up both.

So the first one is this Mini Twister made with Civil War reproduction fabrics.

It was inspired by the ones made by Jo and Janet.  I have the Large and Small Twister templates from CS Schoolhouse.  I have used the small one to make a doll quilt and helped my MIL make a gift quilt with the large one (sorry, I don't have a picture of that one).   I used the templates as a guide to mark a 2-1/2" square acrylic ruler with the angles (using glow line tape) to cut the blocks for this.  So the finished blocks here are 2" and this top right now measures about 15-3/4" square.  I already have the backing and plan to bind it in the border fabric.  I just have to decide on the quilting.

*Updated 2/1/12
The second one?  Well I hate to be at tease but I can't show you it just yet!  I succumbed to the siren call of Lori's "Pink Lemonade" Quilt AlongThe reveal is tomorrow, so once I've posted there I will update this post with a picture of mine.

I can tell you that I made my blocks smaller than hers--mine finish at 3" and the top right now stands at 12-3/4" x 17".   I'll give you more finishing info after tomorrow's reveal.   You can read more about it here.

The purpose for making these?  I have a featherweight machine displayed in my dining room which is next to my sewing area.

When we moved last year I set this display up to replace the one I had in our old apartment.  There, the small quilt that is now behind the machine, lay on the sewing machine bed.  But now I need to hang it on the wall and it looked too lonely there by itself.  So I decided that I now had a great place for miniature quilt projects and a reason to make some!  I am hoping to do some more in the future and definitely on that list is the "12 Days Of Christmas" mini from Temecula Quilt Company.

Linking up at:

Time To Regroup

Well it's the end of January and I should be showing my challenge finishes on this post but alas have none to report.  I realize that I need to once again adjust my expectations and figure out what I need to do different to get from here to there. The three weeks I spent on jury duty ended up throwing me for a loop more than I had anticipated and I should have planned better to work around it.  While corresponding recently with another quilter I realized something:  last year, whatever I did get done, happened when I was able to FOCUS on a particular project.  Many quilters choose an operative word for the year, and I think this one needs to be mine.  So here are the project updates:

Myra's PHd Challenge

I had intended to to work on the Denim Blue Lagoon quilt project (see item #1 in this post) for my sons to fulfill the first finish of the PHD projects.  I thought it would help even more to join Brenda's (of the Scraps & Strings blog) new String Thing Along.  However, I still haven't worked with the boys to sit and sew the strings for me, so nothing was done on this one.  So next month will be a new chance to try.

My back-up plan was to finally start quilting the UGRR/Pioneer samplers.  But I was still unsure about how I wanted to quilt them.  I've since had a chance to review my "Quilt Whisperer" coursework from 2010 so I feel a little more confident to start "staring my quilts down" and come up with a plan.  This is why I need to have a plan C for when A and B don't pan out!  Perhaps February will be more productive.

Judy's Patchwork Times 2012 UFO Challenge

Judy's number for January was #5.  My projects were to be to quilt Safari Stars and to make the WAK Triptych.  This is the project I most wanted to get done so I am really surprised I didn't do much work on it.  Again, I wasn't prepared for not having the kind of time I usually have to focus on a project.  I did get the first two borders attached around the fabric photo transfer pictures for the Triptych but that's about it. I think the other issue is that the spots these were supposed to hang in when finished have been temporarily taken up by these:

Maybe after the Superbowl on Sunday, I'll be a little more motivated to try to get back to these and get them done.  Meanwhile, I'm really anxious now about what February's number will be since I already need to do so much catching up.

Chronicles BOM

Some of the fabrics for the last Chronciles BOM kit came in but the main red fabric is still MIA.  However, Homestead Hearth is expecting it in in February, so now it is not nearly as long a wait as it was when we were first told this before Christmas.

NewFOs at Cat Patches

I hadn't planned to participate in this since I have UFOs to attend to.  But it turns out the way to get me back to the machine is to throw a new project at me!  Fortunately the two (!) I chose were minis so it took a quick three days to bring them to the flimsie stage.  The first was a mini Twister in Reproduction fabrics:

You can read more about it here.

*Updated 2/1/12
The second, I can't reveal until tomorrow:  I couldn't resist Lori's new doll quilt-a-long called "Pink Lemonade".  I already have my post made but the reveal is tomorrow so I'll update the link when I post it.

You can read more about it here.  The good news is that when both of these are completely done I can actually check a decorating biggie off my list:  I've wanted to make a few mini quilt projects for display behind my Featherweight machine.  I've been collecting ideas for the last year but these two sparked me enough to get me moving and I am happy about that.

I am looking forward to getting into a better groove in February!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Interesting Doings in Blog Land

So since I haven't been doing any sewing this past week, I have been doing a lot of surfing.  I am finding a lot of interesting things brewing for 2012 in blogland.

Help With Goal Tending

One thing that might be of additional help to those of us trying to stay on track on our quilt goals for 2012 is that Rhonda, over at the Quilter In The Gap blog is hosting a quarterly 2012 Finish-A-Long.

You post what you want to accomplish during each quarter and at the end of the quarter when you post about your finishes, you are entered into a giveaway for prizes.  Seems like a good incentive and forces you to take the longer view than just what you need to get done this week but a more manageable view than trying to focus on the whole year.

For those weekly finish celebrations there is still "Whoop, Whoop Fridays" at Sarah's Confession of a Fabric Addict, Amy Lou Who's Sew and Tell Fridays and Amanda Jean's Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Up Friday which she started last year and is continuing this year. 

Red and White Quilts

For all you Red and White fans there's the "Just Takes Two" Mystery Quilt.

In honor of the Rose exhibit this past year, Gay of  Sentimental Stitches and Brenda who runs the official Dear Jane website are going to be issuing red and white block designs twice a month.  I signed up to get the blocks although I don't know if actually making them will get on the agenda this year.  But I loved the exhibit too much to miss out on this and admit that a red and white quilt is now added to the bucket list. I look forward to seeing where all the talented quilters out there take this one.

Quilts Of Valor

Alycia of the Alycia Quilts blog, is calling for people to make 12 for 12 Quilt of Valor quilts this year.  I have long wanted to make a QOV quilt.  I also have made an unofficial "55 by 55" challenge for myself to donate quilts.  I need eight more by my birthday in May to stay on track and hope a QOV will be among them.  I'm pretty sure I won't make twelve but maybe some of you can?

Make Something New!

And then I came across reference to this on a few blogs:  Barbara at Cat Patches is hosting a "NewFO Challenge" (I love that term!!!).

This one is for those of you that don't have a bunch of UFOs laying around.  She is encouraging everyone to start something new each month with no deadlines or pressure of finishing it.  Now that's challenge I could really get into!  It is something I had planned to do at mid year IF I complete Myra's challenge and meet the first six challenges for Judy.  I have more than a few NewFOs laying around but will resist the urge of joining in for now.

Bucket List: Lone Star

And for all you bucket list quilters:  ever planned to do a Lone Star Quilt?  It's definitely on my Bucket List.  Well, if you need a sympathetic group to work along with, Quilt Sue at the Quilt Times blog is hosting a "Lone Star Quilt-A-Long".

Join on the first Saturday of each month to share your progress, projects, patterns and ask question or just get support for your quilt journey.  Again, one that I'd love to jump into at some point but will resist the urge for now.

In the Zines

Finally, a friend and I are planning to make the "Dream Catcher" quilt in this post which has been designed by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession.  It is supposed to come out in an issue of Australian Quilters Companion Magazine some time this year.  My friend (a big Kaffe Fassette fan) already had all the stripe prints in her stash and I caught some sales and ordered mine over the holiday.  This will be my first Kaffe fabric quilt and the first Australian design I've done.  I love the freedom and high spiritedness of the Aussies quilts.  I very much wanted to sign up for their Sue Ross BOM last year.  Again, if I can stick to my UFO goals, maybe my reward will be to do that too.

So that's what I've found floating out there on the web for this year.  I'm sure there's much more so let me know what you've come across!

Hello to 2012

I hope the old saying about what you do on New Year's Day is what you'll do all year isn't really true because despite wanting to start the year right, I didn't do any sewing on that day. I did put a considerable amount of time into amassing the details of a new purchase and then fortunately talked myself right out of it.  

But January 2 I did get myself in gear because on New Year's Day, Judy revealed the first project number for her UFO Challenge.  It is number 5.  As committed to in this post, that number on my list corresponded to a dual set of projects:  My Safari Stars and the WAK Triptych.  The top for Safari Stars was completed back in early November and awaits decisions about how to quilt it.  The Triptych project had been listed on my sidebar as a HSY but I had actually started some of the planning work and fabric selection for it back in 2008 so I have accordingly added that date when I moved it to the WIP list.

I pulled out the pieces and got the photo fabric printing done for it.  I am obscuring the full images for now because they are using the art work of an artist and I need to ask permission to show it.

Since that day I haven't worked on anything.  DH was home on vacation giving me unfettered access to the car and an extra set of hands for things like the post-trip laundry and taking down the Christmas decorations so I spent the week on those things and running errands.  I am a little anxious going forward because I also received notice last week that I am to start jury duty tomorrow.  Last time I only served for two days before being released.  Since I'd really like the same thing to happen this time, I just bet I'll get picked to sit for a case instead!

Staying optimistic about the week ahead.  Happy Quilting!!