Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Patchwork Times UFO Challenge Updates

I totally missed reporting on the July UFO number this month which was #3.  That's probably because I didn't work on it at all.  For me it was supposed to be to layer and quilt my Merrimac Dresdens!

Unfortunately it didn't even get layered since I've been working on the BOMs and the DWR.  I have decided on the quilt stitch designs and have the backing but until it is layered it can't even be added to the ever growing "To Be Quilted" pile.

 In fact, most of my Challenge list projects are tops that need to be quilted.  Today Judy issued the the August number which is #7 and for me that is my Aunt Grace BOM.

Considering that I've been focusing on BOMs lately, maybe I can get this one done before summer's end?  I'm not so sure given my PTUFOC completion track record is 0 for 7.  Like the Dresedens, I have given some thought to how I want to quilt it and have the backing but until it is layered it too can't join the "To Be Quilted"stack. 

To add insult to injury, I've got two projects I'd like to start this month.  At this point I'm going to plead the fifth and not make any promises. Hope you are way more up to date on your projects!

Monday, July 23, 2012

BOM Rehab #7

Ahhh, it's good to be back in Rehab!!!  Can't imagine any real addicts saying that!

It's been a long road back to quilting and Rehab for me but it feels good to hold the rotary cutter in my hand again, hear the hum of my sewing machine and feel the pull of the needle through cloth again.  As I noted in a recent post, I am pleased to announce that before going AWOL, I did get the last Rehab project reported on done!

The red border blocks for the "Civil War Chronicles" BOM were finished by the end of May and the top put together in early June.  This one will be quilted when its number comes up on the Patchwork Times UFO Challenge list.

As also noted in that post,  Judy picked #12 for the June PTUFOC which for me was the "Jan Patek House & Garden" BOM that I had signed up for in the Fall of 2010 and is the last BOM I have in house.

The original plan was to spend June starting it as well as catching back up on the "Heart & Home" Wool BOM that I had started Rehab with.  So now that I am now ready to get back on track, this will be my weekend work. To help myself along, I prepped the long background and motifs for the "House & Garden" block on Friday and the "Heart & Home" house block on Saturday.  I worked on the hand applique "Garden" banner block on Saturday & Sunday and finished it early enough to get the wool one stitched up by machine Sunday evening. 

Once again, glad to be back in Rehab.  Why don't you come with me over to Sinta's and check out what other BOM Rehabbers are up to?  Or better yet join us!  The completion of my Chronicles project is proof that Rehab works!

Friday, July 13, 2012

How To Bottom Out In Style

Here's a review of what I did just before I took my unexpected break.  As I said in the previous post, I think the break was brought on by over committing myself to one too many projects and then becoming overwhelmed by all the tasks I had committed to both in and away from quilting.
Before I completely flaked out, I did get some things done.  All through April and May I had been attending BOM Rehab hosted by Sinta at the Pink Pincusion blog and in the later weeks had worked steadily on the border blocks for my Civil War Chronicles BOM.  I am pleased to say that not only did I get the blocks done but I also got the top finished by the first week of June.

Yes, it's a big 'un!!  The quilting of it was already on my UFO list for this year's Patchwork Times UFO Challenge because I had originally expected to complete this in December of last year, so we'll see if its number will come up in the near future.  I have been entertaining ideas about how I will quilt it and look forward to getting that to a finish before the end of this year.

And speaking of the UFO Challenge and BOM Rehab:  Judy had pulled #12 for the June PTUFOC and for me that is the Jan Patek House & Garden BOM that I had signed up for in the Fall of 2010 (and the last BOM I have in house).  I had hoped to spend June starting it as well as catching back up on the Heart & Home Wool BOM that I had led off Rehab with but when I went off the rails that desire went with it.  I am now ready to get back on track for this to be my weekend work. Look for future posts where I begin work on these two and rejoin the BOM Rehab group.

Another commitment I had made was joining the String Thing Along to work on my Denim Blue Lagoons project.  I had thought that maybe working on this wonky project with my sons would be a quick start for the summer.  But I have to admit as the school year came to a close and they started their summer vacation, it was a lot harder to get in gear than expected.  Just before I went AWOL I had them sew up enough strips sets and I had de-boned and cut up enough denim jeans to make one third (five rows) of each of their quilt tops.

While I really want to get these done for the fall (they will be HEAVY quilts), I'm going to let this one rest awhile so I can I FOCUS (there's the quilt word of the year again!) on other tasks.

I also see that the last time I had posted about my Autumn Double Wedding Ring project was back in April.  I had really worked on this for a good clip and at the time thought I'd bring it to a top but then got distracted by all the other commitments I did or wanted to make (more on that in a few).  But I wanted to note here that in the second week of May I did get those last two rows done and cut the half and quarter block pieces that will be inset between the rows to create a straight edge to attach the outer border to.  This has been sitting on my design wall ever since.

Even as I took on other projects, I really wanted to get back to this one.  The next step for this is to put all the rows together to form the center of the top.  After that, it's cutting the outer border, adding applique to it and attaching that to finish the top.  The DWR Chat Group at Connecting Threads-Quilt With Us has been very active lately, so I hope to get to post on this there when I get back to working on it.

Another thing that led to burn out was realizing that two other commitments I wanted to take on were just not going to get done.  The first was that I had purchased a wholecloth kit that I had planned to hand quilt for my own Jubliee Quilt Project.

Since my Jubilee year was actually last year, my goal was just to get this one started for the first anniversary of my Jubilee year by my birthday in May.  But as the date got closer and closer and the projects piled higher and higher, I realized with some disappointment that there was NO WAY I would get to this one!  So it is shelved for the time being, perhaps even for the year.  Since it is also one of the last four projects on my original Bucket List, maybe tackling those can be a FOCUS for next year?

Another thing I had to delay was my plan to work on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Block of the Week blocks from 2011.  I've done many projects with Civil War Repros in the last two years (you can click on the label link on the sidebar to see them all) and have really enjoyed delving into the history of this period through the quilt projects, t.v. shows and reading.   My plan was that after I had finished the Civil War Chronicles top, I would use all the accumulated scraps and remaining yardage I had collected (o.k. and maybe even buy a few more pieces if needed) and make a few of Ms. Brackman's blocks each week in the hopes of having all 52 done before she took then down, which I thought would happen in July.  But the Chronicles top took longer to complete than planned and once again, as the July deadline got closer and closer, I realized that I just could not fit in another task.  The good news is that it now says on the blog that the blocks will be up for the rest of the 2012 year.  Since working on these is also on my Patchwork Times UFO list, I will wait until that number is called to FOCUS on this.  The back up plan is that Ms. Brackman will have a book on the blocks coming out in 2013 that I definitely want to get.  So if I do not get the blocks done by the end of this year, I will wait for the book and work on them then.   

So I think that brings me up to date.  I am looking forward to getting "back on the horse" on all of these projects.  Watch for news on them in upcoming posts!

Ending Radio Silence

Whew!  It's been too long since I've been away.  Two things led me astray:  quilting overload and life commitments.  It's hard to admit but I feel like I over committed myself to too many quilting projects at once and pushed myself to the point that I then couldn't even think about sewing.  I really, really wanted to do everything and then wound up feeling like doing nothing!  Heck, I haven't even read any quilt blogs in all this time (and boy will I have a lot of catching up to do when I get back to it)!!

My youngest son graduated Middle School in June and since I volunteered there, there was a lot of graduation events to help with.  In addition, we had been on pins and needles awaiting word of his high school assignment.  Back in March we found out that his first choice was entered into the selection system wrong by someone assisting the guidance counselor which caused him to be matched with a school not on our list and as a result all his other choices were also ignored.  To correct the error, we had to go through a very lengthy appeal process to get his actual choices considered.  In the end, two weeks before graduation, we got word that he was accepted to his first choice!  A call to the school confirmed that the late acceptance meant we missed out on attending the orientation held for new freshmen but the school mailed us the information that was issued at the event.  So now we are in prep mode for the transition and next year I will be the mother of TWO high schoolers and my oldest will be graduating!!

As July has progressed, I have finally been getting the itch to get back into the swing of things.  The perspective I  gained from my time away is that I must pull back a little and re-commit to my quilt word for the year which is FOCUS.  I have done well when I am able to concentrate on or give priority to one project at a time and now I have to get back to that.  This doesn't mean I won't still have multiple projects going (it's already too late to change that!).  It just means that in the moment, I need to be better at narrowing my attention to the task at hand and getting it to an acceptable stopping point (if not completion) before moving on to the next big thing.  It would also help if I really try to limit how many irons I commit to placing in the fire at any one time.  That i must say is a very hard task to say the least with all the quilting goodness and potential out there.  But I realize now that I can only take on so much at once if I am to avoid burn out.

So stay tuned for upcoming posts on what I did get done before I went AWOL and what I will be working on over the summer. Hopefully I will also be back to visiting some of you soon too!!