Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ending the year with more UFOs than I started

I'm not sure how this happened -- I'm usually pretty diligent about keeping up. Three years ago I pledged to finish a quilt top every month (and not wall hangings, either) and I did. This year -- not so much. Maybe it was a new grandson. Maybe it was painting and redecorating the living room. Maybe it was a flooded basement and months (literally) of chaos related to that. Maybe it was an acquisition at work and 12 hour days. Whatever it was -- it got in the way of play and that's never a good thing!

So -- off the top of my head, I have the following unfinished quilts needing some attention.

1. Amy Butler (or was it Valori Wells) fabrics/rectangles-needs inner and outer borders.
2. Bumblebeans waverunner (so fun) - needs quilting
3. Mark Lapinski challenge (TATW) - needs quilting
4. New York Beauty - needs borders
5. Homespun tumblers - needs borders
6. Brown baby quilt - needs quilting
7. Waffle quilt out of Gee's Bend fabrics - needs finishing
8. Ohio Star - needs finishing
9. Carolina Christmas mystery - needs quilting

That's without taking inventory -- I fear there are others. I certainly won't be setting a goal of a quilt a month, this year--but I might think about doing better than I did this year. How about you? Was 2010 more productive or less productive than 2009? More importantly, I think -- was whether it was more fulfilling and creative!

Keep piecing and Happy New Year! Jan

PS -- after posting, I remembered
10. Ugly fabric challenge - needs quilting
11. Practice lattice - needs quilting
12.  My birthday quilt - finish piecing
13.  30's fabric quilt - binding
14.  Paperweight - barely started
15. Cmas quilt from jelly roll - needs quilting
16.  Project Linus strings - needs quilting

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mystery Quilt -- 2 years ago

I can't remember the name of this Bonnie Hunter mystery but I think I like it more now than I did when I finished it. It was gifted to a special friend and I hope she's wrapped in love.

I am a bit behind with the current mystery (Cotton Boll) -- actually I'm very behind but hoping to get caught up over the New Years' weekend -- at least up until the step that will post on Friday. I have no aspirations of getting that caught up! I admire those with the will power to work a step and be done before checking the next one. Not me! I'll open it as soon as it's posted....

I guess I should mention that I still need to quilt last year's mystery (Carolina Christmas, I think). My goal had been to have it on my bed for the holidays this year. That obviously didn't happen -- but what I love is I'm using my scraps. Thus far, most of this quilt has been done with strips I had already cut. How cool is that!

So -- we'll see what the weekend brings and what Friday's clue is -- only 2 more to go!

Keep piecing! Jan

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happiness is a cone of Aurafil!

I don't know about you --but I love my thread almost as much as I love my fabric and my Bernina. There is something so comforting about a whole cone of Aurafil or an order of new spools. I need to stop feeding my thread habit -- I'm covered for years, I think.

Then what on earth am I doing with all these spools? Saving them, of course. Because I love my thread so much, there are times when I don't feel like I need the very best (like string blocks that are being pieced on a fabric foundation). On those occasions, I use from this cigar box (or the second cigar box of more old thread) and I love using them up. Or there are times when I'm basting for a short period of time and can use this thread -- or I'm basting my hexagons. I do not want to use my beautiful Aurafil for those projects -- and I do love using these up (or old bobbins from my mother's Kenmore or Singer).

I know I'm a bit of a thread snob -- but I'm also a frugal quilter that can't bring myself to throw away perfectly good thread -- just b/c it's a little over the hill (as am I!).

Do you hoard thread or do you purchase just in time?

Keep piecing! Jan

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A white christmas

What a wonderful holiday with family (sans son, dil, and grandson) and snow to top it off. The first official white Christmas since 1995 -- so magical -- until we start driving north tomorrow and then I'm fairly sure the magic will have worn off. But for now, it's a day inside, eating, reading, catching up, eating, resting, and enjoying being with my very small and special family. I hope you have had an equally meaningful holiday.

Tomorrow I piece! Jan

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What to do!

I'm stumped. This is directly from Karen Stone's New York Beauty book and I love it. BUT, it's small and I mean really small. It's barely lap size now and I need to put a border on it. While Karen's original NYB has an incredible pieced border, I already know I have no desire to do that. I'm not opposed to piecing a border but I'm about paper pieced out.

What to do?
1. Checkerboard border out of leftover fabric? Probably not.
2. Scalloped border to accent the curves? Probably not -- makes my palms sweat to think about it.
3. Different paper pieced border from Karen's book? Maybe but I haven't found one I really think works.
4. Nice inner border (or flange) to stop the design and a large print outer border and be done with it? That's where I'm leaning.

I want this done so I can start to fret about quilting it (another post for another day, I'm sure). I don't want it to languish in the closet unfinished...I adore the fabrics, I like the blocks b/c they're very non-traditional for a NYB, and I would love to have it at the foot of one of the beds. It will never grow up to be a quilt for a full size bed.

Suggestions? Opinions? Thoughts?

Keep piecing, Jan

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

600 HSTs -- really?

Like many out there, I'm a big fan of Bonnie Hunter's scrap management system. I take great pride in all my bins of strips, squares, and bricks. I take the most pride in the fact that my bushel basket (seriously) of scraps has been tamed, trimmed, and put up. So -- what's a quilter to do when Bonnie posts another mystery that will let you use these pre-cuts on a weekly basis? I was a little daunted by a step that needs 60 strip pieced 8.5" squares (and I'm still working on those) but I was overwhelmed at the thought of 600 HSTs that trim out at 2"/finish at 1.5"! However, I'm plodding along and relishing no precutting strips -- I have enough precut red strips at 2" to do twice that many -- thanks to making 196 red napkins in glorious fabrics for my son's wedding rehearsal. Am I making a dent in my stash? No. Am I freeing up space in my 2" storage bin? You bet and I'm lovin' it!

Keep piecing --

Monday, December 20, 2010

Have you ever gotten in too deep with a project?

This falls into the "what was I thinking" category when I offered to make a different wallhanging for every month for my sister's housewarming gift. Do you know what it feels like to have a deadline hanging over your head every month (or two if you get ahead)? What was I thinking! I love her dearly and I have decided she's one of only about 2-3 people in the world that I would do this for! BUT, I'm pleased to say that I am putting the binding on the last one tonite and will take it to her at Christmas. I can go back to my serendiptous approach to quilting and jumping from one project to another. Don't you love that? No deadlines unless you want there to be one? Happiest of holidays to all of you quilters! Aren't we lucky to have this creative outlet (even if we do get in over our heads?). Jan