Friday, January 22, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
What I had planned to do all this month is try to clean up or move forward projects started last year. High on that list was finishing up the top I had been focusing on before last year's quarantine hit which is Bonnie Hunter's "Old Tobacco Road" mystery from 2008.
I had gotten as far as finishing the center of it as Bonnie's 2019 "Frolic" mystery was also finishing up. I had worked on this old mystery as others were tackling the new one. When I saw on Friday that Bonnie's post for her 2020 mystery "Grassy Creek" was for its reveal (and which means the annual mystery quilt season is now over), it seemed like the perfect time for me to head back down the "Tobacco Road"! On the downside, this is yet another hazard of COVID-Time since I can't believe the mystery period is already over! Where DID the time go?!?!?!
I had stopped work on it in February because I needed to decide whether to just add a plain border to the center for a quick finish or to continue on and add the Flying Geese borders Bonnie used in the pattern. I had already made all the Flying Geese blocks and since that was one of the things I really liked about the original design, I admit I was leaning towards that. However, at that moment I had to break work on it to prepare to teach an English Paper Piecing class (my first!) that I was hired to do and then had to work on the top for a quilt with blocks decorated by a Girl Scout Troop. Not long after that the pandemic went into overdrive and I was further diverted by quarantine, quarantine quilting projects, other project interests and traveling in December.
But now, it's back!! This is where I am today:
So now I am at another decision point. I had planned from the beginning to use the Olive fabric used in that (narrow) inner border for an outer border option. The debate now is whether I want to:
A. Just bind the top as it is now, preferably also with the Olive fabric.
B. Add an additional outer border as Bonnie did in her design, also possibly in the same Olive fabric.
C. Add an additional border but in another fabric, possibly a subtle print the way Bonnie did with hers.
It should be noted that I don't have enough of that Olive fabric left for either of the first two options. Additionally, I had won that fabric in a de-stash giveaway many years ago. The good news is that the name of the fabric line ("Shadowplay" by Maywood) was on the selvedge and it appears that it is still available in a number of places.
Of course the challenge is getting just the right shade of that green -- the original line had two Olive's, a light and a medium. Some listings say light or medium, some don't and of course you can't necessarily trust the color as it appears on your screen. To complicate matters more, for option C, I found another Maywood print called "Chrysanthemum" that also comes in Olive and I am considering getting that too.
So I am stuck for the moment in a decision mode which means this top won't get fully finished until the end of the month or early next month and I can live with that. The other good news is I have a remnant of a Thimbleberries wide back print and a lot of leftover bricks and Flying Geese blocks which all look like they can be the start of the backing for this. So I am calling this one officially "Moved Forward"!
Regarding the "Grassy Creek" Mystery: I was surprised by the look of the reveal quilt. The greens and golds in the color scheme didn't show up in it as much as I thought they would. However, that's good because if Bonnie's designs are one thing, they are flexible! Since I like her color choices, I now see where I might do the fabric pull a little differently to achieve the look I thought it would have. However, I don't even have "clue the first" of when that might happen since I still have a huge commitment to fulfill in finishing the other mystery tops and designs I already have in progress. But a girl can dream can't she!
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Saturday, January 2, 2021
Happy New Years! And a big 'ole smooch to 2021!!
When I checked in again with my MIL yesterday, she was feeling a lot better but was still not up to sewing just yet. Today was not as a good a day so it looks like we are going to have to take this one day at a time. We had made tentative plans on Friday to Skype on Sunday afternoon but at this point, I really don't know if we'll keep that date. To keep myself from worrying, I'm trying to keep a few projects in focus as it seems that these first few days of the year aren't going to pass through any more smoothly than 2020 went out.
I'm still tying to map out the rest of the year, but I do know that all this month I want to focus on finishing up or moving forward things from last year. Ironically, what I worked on yesterday and finished up today is that and a throw back to the first finish of last year! Last year I started things off with a little quilted tote for a micro-mini portable iron.
However I also kept a mini Steamfast iron on my sewing table and had planned last year to make another larger tote for carrying it if I wanted to take it for travel or classes.
|Stock Photo from Steamfast.com|
I'd had my iron since 2015 and loved using it while piecing the block units of pretty much every project. However, in the last year or so, the base of it had been getting hot to the touch when it was used for an extended period. Well, last week I turned it on and I heard a "pop" and the little light that indicates it is on went out and the iron stopped heating. Fortunately that was not a big problem since a while back, I had watched one of Vanessa the Crafty Gemini's videos and she recommended the Sunbeam as a cheaper alternative to the Steamfast. One thing she noted was that a selling point for the Sunbeam mini iron is its structure. It has the water well sitting under the handle which means your hands are not close to the heated elements of the iron. I did like that but saw no reason to give up my old Steamfast -- that is up until now! With it burnt out, it was time for a new one. So along with a new mini iron, it was a good time to also make that larger carrier too!
|Provides a generous 18" x 24" pressing surface.|
It is also large enough to hold a full size iron too.
And I have to say it was a quickie! My own construction tip is that rather than drafting the pattern onto paper, I used the pattern's instructions and just measured and drew the quilting lines with my Chacoliner right onto the ironing board fabric. I started on it late and was a little distracted by frequently stopping to comment, reminisce and laugh with DH about the annual New Year's Day "Odd Couple" marathon that was playing in the background!
|Still hilarious 50 years later!|
So I got all the way up to sewing down the last seam of the binding before having to call it quits for the day. So today that and attaching the button closures was all that needed to be done to wrap it up.
Funny, I had not made my Blue and White Christmas decorating plans at the time I purchased the fabric for this but I am just loving that it not only coordinates with the new Sunbeam but it falls right into line with all the blue and white projects I made in 2020 and still have to finish up!
So if I do get to Skype with my MIL tomorrow, we may get to talk about our plans to try to participate in this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge to give her a chance to dive into her newly organized bins. Until then, I will spend some more time planning the projects for this year. Do I want to try to do a UFO Finish challenge? I should, lord knows I've got enough of 'em!! We'll see what the first week of the New Year brings!