Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Stash Report for 2013

Well, here it is at the end of the year and I'm a little short of my goals!  So what's new? I used almost exactly what I added, but that was not my original plan.  My goal for 2014 will be to use twice as much as this year. Or use double of what I add, either would be reducing the stash, right?  I'm running out of room to hide store it, so it has to happen sooner rather than later.

Added this week - 1 FQ (for Celtic Solstice blues)
Added YTD - 95.39 yds
Used this week - 1 yd - for binding .
Used YTD - 98.36 yds
Net Used from stash in 2013 - 2.97 yds. Almost 3 yds.

Now,would you look at all that extra space on my fabric shelves!  :)  NOT

I WILL reduce my stash in 2014 and only add where absolutely necessary.  In fact, I'd love to get through the whole year with just using stash. Wouldn't that be amazing?  I'm trying the power of positive thinking to see if it helps. lol   Keep watching this report in the coming year to see if it works.

Check out Patchwork Times and see how others ended their year of stashbusting.  There are some really champion stashbusters in this group.

Thank you, my blogger friends, for all the encouragement and support you've given me during the year. I love getting comments and look forward to hearing from you on any subject.  It has made a difference in all my projects, whether they be quilting, knitting, cooking, or life lessons and I so appreciate the time you've taken to comment on my ramblings.  Soon I'll be celebrating my 2 year blogaversary (Jan. 2). and it seems as if it were only last month.  Maybe a giveaway is in order. This means I'll need to learn another blogger skill - Mr. Random Man.  I've learned so much already, thanks to many of you, but still have much to learn. I still can't remember how to put things on the side bar correctly and some linking and posting pictures don't always work right the first time.  Maybe with more practice these will be easier in 2014.

Here's hoping your Christmas holidays were wonderful and that 2014 will find you healthy, happy and prosperous.  Please be safe on New Year's Eve and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Friday, December 27, 2013

On The Needles - December 27, 2013

This is the last 'On the Needles' for 2013.  You are probably getting tired of seeing the same project on my needles.  I know I am.  I was hoping to finish my 3S shawl by the end of the year, but it doesn't look like that will happen.  But there was a little progress made on it this week-- it now measures 6.25 inches from neck edge to the lower point, which is about a third finished.  Maybe by the end of January, 2014 it will be ready to wear.

I also spent some time on gifts and finished a couple more face cloths.  The lighter ones are used as "face cloths" and the darker ones dish cloths.  These face cloths and a bar of homemade soaps are little thank you gifts for friends.

3S Shawl

To see more great ideas for knitting projects and some beautiful finishes, go to On the Needles at Patchwork Times.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday and Celtic Solstice

Well, I finally got caught up on Celtic Solstice (Thank you Bonnie for a quick part 4 during the holidays).  Here are all my little 4-patches sewed and pressed awaiting their turn. Each stack has (10) 4-patches in them.

On my design wall this morning are blocks for my block exchange.  These little 4 inch bow ties looked so lonely up there all by themselves, I thought they needed some company.  
So I played around with the CS mystery blocks like I've seen on other blogs earlier.
I tried it with the 4-patches turned with the green inside/orange outside then reversed it.  To tell you the truth, I cannot see much of a difference either way.  I am using a bit darker rusty orange in place of Bonnie's bright orange on most of the blocks.   

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and Quiltville's Celtic Solstice.  Go check them out to see more of what's going on in blogland this morning.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stash Report - # 51 and More

Nothing was added to the stash this week, but I used about half yard for our Christmas party game. This year we brought blue, green or purple strips cut 2 1/2". We play the LRC dice game (left, right, center) and somene goes home with a bunch of 2.5" strips. This year we had two winners. We hope to see a finished top or quilt by next Christmas.

Fabric Added - zero; Added YTD - 95.34 yds
Fabric Used -  .5 yd;  Used YTD -  97.36 yds
Net Used for 2013 - 2.02 yds  - No wonder I don't see any more space on my shelves.!  Next year I hope to do better.

I've also been reducing some of my scraps on the Celtic Solstice mystery quilt, but can't count any yet. Speaking of Bonnie's mystery quilt, here's my progress so far.  This shows Clues 1 and 2 finished (in the blue tins) and Clue 3 partially done.  Since this picture was taken, I have finished all of Clue 3 pinwheels (25) and the 100 HSTs and they are just waiting to see what role they play in the quilt.

Today I pulled lots of my scraps and finished cutting and pairing the 4-patches for Clue 4.  Now they are all ready to sew and press.

I hope to get that done before the evening is over.  I want to be able to link up with Bonnie's CS Mr. Linky tomorrow.  I've missed the last 2 weeks.  I'll have pics of my finished Clue #4 tomorrow. (How's that for positive thinking?)

One of the reasons I've gotten behind on the mystery is that I was working on my 3S Shawl.  It has grown by another inch and a half.  It's very slow moving with these Size #2 needles.

Check out more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, December 13, 2013

On the Needles - 12/13/13

Knitting time has been very limited this week because of Christmas luncheons, guild parties and sewing all those small pieces for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  But I did manage to make a little more progress on my 3S Shawl.  It's very slow going.  I figured out that two complete rows of knitting only yields a quarter of an inch in depth from the top of the center stitch.  That means I have to knit 8 rows to gain one little inch.  This becomes even slower when you realize that each row gets longer and longer -- but I'm getting some good practice, right?? 

Here's what it looks like so far.  I've inserted one eyelet row about 4 1/2" from the top.  The whole shawl has grown about 1.5 to 2 inches since the first photo.
3S Shawl

I also finished another face cloth for gift giving.  I decided to call them face cloths instead of dish cloths because I'm going to put a special handmade bar of soap with them. This one is too soft for doing the dishes. lol

face/dish cloths made w/ Cream & Sugar cotton yarn.
To see more projects, visit Judy's blog HERE.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Design Wall 12/9/13 and Celtic Solstice Part 2

These were the blocks on my design wall last week.  Actually they are on my dining room table in this picture.  They are blocks for the block exchange group I'm in. This time the fabrics were provided and we put them together as instructed.  Everone got 2 different florals and center colors. The pattern is called Radiance.

The other block is one I made for our Christmas party tomorrow night.  Each participant bought a square of fabric for $1 and was to make a 12.5" block.  It could be any pattern or technique. I went simple because of time contraints, but the red will be the common thread that makes all the blocks go together with each other.  We should have several lucky winners because lots of packets were purchased.  Hope I'm one of the winners, but I won't hold my breath.  I've done this for 20+ years and haven't won any yet. lol
Christmas block
Celtic Solstice blocks would be up on my design wall if there are not so many. After taking so long to finish Clue #1, I decided to get better organized so I could keep up this week. Here's  where I am on Clue#2 - ALL 600 pieces cut, marked and sewing.. I have about half of the cute little Chevrons put together and will easily finish the rest before the next clue releases. 

Here how I set up my work space for Clue #2.  I sew 10 pairs together then get up to iron.  This keeps me from sitting too long and helps with the repetition.
You can see my greens, yellow/golds and neutrals that I'm using.  I also have a 200 fine grit sandpaper to put under the 2" blocks for marking diagonal lines, scissors for trimming off the triangles and do you see that little red bobbin holder above the instruction sheet? That is a section of  plastic from a spiral bound notebook that someone showed on Pinterest for carrying extra filled bobbins to retreats or classes. Isn't that a clever idea?

Here are some of the chevrons put together.  I'm clipping 10 with red binder clips. 
When I was searching for greens in my stash, I came upon a piece that was way back in the closet. It must have fallen off the crowded shelves. I know it's at least 10 years old.  But look, it was meant to be found and put into this scrap quilt. It has horseshoes, shamrocks and pots of gold.  If this does say Ireland, nothing does.

I am linking up with Patchwork Times and Celtic Solstice Linky#2. Take some time and have a look at both places for lots of eye candy.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Stash Report - Wk 49 & QOV

Nothing added to the stash this week or used that I can count.  I am using some stash for piecing Celtic Solstice, Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, but it won't get counted as used until the top is finished. So, my numbers remain the same as last week.   However, I did finish quilting a Quilts of Valor for a friend.

Fabric Added - 0
Fabric Added YTD -* 93.94 yds.  95.34
Fabric Used - 0
Fabric Used YTD -* 95.61 yds  96.85
Net Used in 2013 - *1.77 yds  1.52 yds in the blk.

*Updated to correct stash totals and add information about quilt name. 

Here is the QOV that will be given to a special veteran. The pattern is called Mirror Mirror by A Quilter's Dream. The website is It's quilted with an E22 called Star Dance by Barbara Becker of Four Paws Quilting. 

I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times  so go on by and see what others have done this week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Just Under the Wire - CS - Part 1

I'm playing catch up already and there have only been two clues so far!  Here are my finished units from the first clue of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice.  I did finish all the blocks right before she released Part 2 although I had to stay up way past midnight to do it!

Celtic Soltice - Clue 1
I was going to do an entirely different colorway based on what colors were abundant in my stash, but decided at the last minute to go with Bonnie's color scheme.  The oranges I'm using are a bit more to the rust and darker oranges, otherwise it follows Bonnie's color families.

In between the CS blocks, I'm using 1.5" squares for my leader/ender project.  These little 16 patch units will measure 4 inches finished when they are in a quilt - yet to be decided what pattern to use them in.

16 patch units of 1.5" squares
Now it's on to Clue 2.  I plan to get better organized from now on and have my fabric washed, pressed and ready to cut - something I did not have done when this started.  I was still searching in my sewing room for possible candidates!  Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?

Since it's very cold here today, I'm keeping warm sewing and pressing the cute little chevrons in Clue 2.  I plan to make it to the Linky Party on time next week.

Hope you are all keeping warm if you are in the cold, winter storm areas.

Friday, December 6, 2013

November Get It Done and December Goals

Here were my goals for November.  I didn't do too badly, but there is still room for improvement. The unfinished items on my list are being rolled over to December.  I will get those things finished this year and maybe a few more projects that are not even started yet.  I'm being pretty optimistic, but I haven't even started my Christmas gifts.  With the snow and cold weather arriving today, maybe I will be able to stay inside and sew, sew, sew and do a little knitting too.

November Goals

1. Piece backing for Easy Street - not yet 
2. Quilt RWB baby quilt - no
3. Quilt guild challenge baby quilt - done  with picture HERE.
4. Finish quilting liturgical quilt - done - pictures HERE
5. Quilt one UFO - no
6. Make 2 more dish cloths - 5 done and 1 more almost finished- HERE

December Goals
1. Get backing pieced for Easy Street
2. Finish a few more dish cloths
3. Quilt the Red, White & Blue baby quilt
4. Quilt a UFO - by now my Easy Street is a UFO

You can check out what others have accomplished in November over at Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stash Report - Week 47, 2013

I'm running neck in neck with my added and used fabric this year.  When I start to turn to positive numbers in my used column, I get sidetracked with temptations of  fat quarters or other pretty fabrics. Since my stash was low on yellows and oranges, I picked up a few FQ (you know Bonnie's mystery quilt is coming up the day after Turkey Day). Guess I might as well give in this year and try to make a dent in the stash 2014.

My stash usage was for a matching pillowcase for my cousin's comfort quilt and a Christmas block for our guild meeting.

Used this week: 1.25 yds
Used YTD:  96.86 yds
Added this week:  1.5 yds
Added YTD:  95.34 yds
Net Added for 2013:  1.52 yds

To see more stash reports, go here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On and Off The Needles - Nov. 22, 2013

I kept missing the Friday OTN post because I hadn't taken any pictures of what I was working on, but finally got my act together this week.

I'm addicted to these little guys.  I guess it's the instant gratification and the fact that I can finish them without having to rip anything, and they are so relaxing to knit!  I just can't stop making them.  They will make great stocking stuffers, so I'll keep making them for a while longer.  Some of the yarn only makes one with a little yarn left over, but not enough for a second one.  I'm hoping the tangerine yarn will last enough to finish this second one that I have on the needles now.  If not, I'll take some of the leftover green or multicolor yarn and finish it for my use.  My dishes won't care if they are scrappy looking.  The yarn is the 100% cotton Sugar and Creme brand, but the length varies within the skeins.

On my circular needles is the beginnings of a shawl that I started last month.  It's taking forever to see any progress.  It seems after an hour or two of knitting, it only grows a half inch more; and, I have to concentrate more, can't talk and knit at the same time.  It's the 3S Shawl that was so popular earlier in the year and everywhere I looked someone was making it. Anyway, I still have to check the pattern frequently so I don't make silly mistakes.  You see, I still don't know how to fix dropped stitches, especially when I don't realize I've dropped them!  Another reason it's taking forever might be because the needles are Size #2.  I wish I had started this on a #3 or $4. By now it might be half finished. lol Sure hope I can finish it before Spring arrives so I can at least wear it once.

Stop on over at Judy's and see what others are working on this week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Finish

Finally, the Liturgical quilt that was started last year is finished.  The only task left is to attach a hanging sleeve to the back and bind it.  I was asked to quilt it simple and not too densely.  Here are a few pictures of the quilt hanging in my dining room.  Do you see those white cords at the top of the quilt?  You'll never guess what they are.  Have you ever seen those stretchy elastic holders with the pincher clips on each end for holding a mattress cover on your mattress, well they work very well for hanging irregular shaped quilts in order to take a straight picture.

Stitch in the ditch was done on both sides of all the grey "lead" and between all blocks and around the cross and heart.  There are  two crosses quilted in the top squares on either side of the main cross and continuous curves in the light squares to give the windows a cathedral look on the stain glass windows.

I tried to make the center cross look more dimensional by quilting irregular lines and knot holes running the length of the wood.  In looking at this picture though, I can't see them at all.  

This original design was first made by Joanne Wietgrefe for the First Congregational Church of Ithaca, New York in 2006. Her original is 7 ft. wide and 11 feet tall and hangs in the sanctuary of her church.  This smaller version measures 70 inches by 82 inches and all the fabrics used in the design are batiks.  It is to be a gift to the pastor of a church in Indiana.

This was definitely a challenge and learning experience for me and my customer.  I can say now that I did enjoy the process of figuring out how to make it without any pattern, but not sure I'll be making many more quilts in the future from a tiny picture out of a magazine. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finishes and Stash Report - Nov. 17, 2013

This week has been productive for finishing some small projects and getting my numbers back going the right way.  Last week on my trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co. I added to my stash with a few purchases; well that layer cake as been turned into a finished quilt for a relative who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  All it needs is a label and to be delivered.
The collection is T.W.Roses by Free Spirit 
It's quilted with Double Rose Vines since there were roses on many of the fabrics. 
This helped to reduce my stash by 7+ yards.

My next finish is the baby quilt challenge by one of my guilds.  If you remember, we got a bit of fabric in a brown bag and had to make a baby quilt from it.  My bag contained a fat quarter of the little Chinese dolls.  I  pieced together the top at a retreat in September, and now it's quilted, labeled, washed and ready to go to a child who needs a portable hug. It was a challenge to find colors that went with that fabric and still look cute. Fabric was counted back in Sept. when the top was finished.

This was a good quilt to practice free motion quilting.  I changed thread to match the color sections (so my mistakes would not be seen as easily) and it was fun coming up with what to quilt in each of the bands. I need much more practice to keep my designs consistent, but hopefully a small child won't notice too much where I wobbled and got off track! :)
The designs from the back.
I also finished piecing another baby quilt with embroidered kitties on the blocks. Hope to get it quilted soon.  AND, the liturgical quilt is finished too.  I have to take some pictures to show you.  I'm so glad it's done except for the binding and sleeve to hang it with.

Now for my numbers:
Fabric Added this week - zero
Fabric Added YTD - 93.84 yds.
Fabric Used this week - 8 yards
Fabric Used YTD - 95.61 yds
Net Used in 2013 - 1.77 in the black!!

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and Let's Make Baby Quilts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Added Stash from Missouri Star Quilt Company

Here is what caused my stash report to head in the wrong direction last week.  I think I have to blame Bonnie Hunter for most of these additions.  Her mystery quilt is starting the day after Thanksgiving, and my stash was short on some of the colors she suggested.  The rest was a bargin and too good to pass up (a layer cake from Free Spirit - T.W. Roses), it was the "Daily Special".  If you know anything about the Missouri Star, you know that they have the BEST daily specials.  Yes, and everyday there is some temptation that is hard to resist.  Could you pass up a 50% to 75% off price on jelly rolls, or layer cakes, or cinnamon buns?  I didn't think so.  Me neither!  Cinnamon buns are one my favorite pastries from the bakery.  Haven't tried the fabric kind yet.

The layer cake on the left is scheduled to be made into a comfort quilt for a relative that has been diagnosed with cancer.  I hope to use a very simple and quick pattern this week at a retreat, so she can use it during her treatment.

Here were a couple more quilts that were on display in the shop that caught my eye.  I didn't get the pattern names and fabrics used, but they look quick and easy to do.
Made using a patriotic layer cake

Such a cute and easy baby quilt

Modern Circles

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mo. Star Quilt Co. & Stash Report #45

Oh, oh, I've been naughty again when it comes to buying more fabric.  I've been trying so hard not to buy any more fabric this year.  But then I went to Houston -- will power was good there.  Didn't want to carry big heavy packages around all day and then have to check them.  Then, this week some of my friends invited me to go to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, in Hamilton, MO and we drove.  This means lots of room for packages, no matter how heavy or bulky, right?

Here we are with our beautiful purple shopping bags filled.  It was a rainy, cool day, but no one noticed after spending time shopping in this lovely store.  This is where Jenny films all those great tutorials that you can find on U-tube.  It is also the home of every line of pre-cuts I've ever seen.  At every turn there were charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls, cinnamon buns, tiny 2.5" packs (can't remember what they called these) and the rest of the complete collections all conveniently located for the samples on how to use them.  They have so many samples on the walls that my head was spinning from all the inspiration and all I wanted to do was get home and start in on one of them!

Check out their store, daily deals and great simple tutorials on how to use many of the pre-cuts. Jenny is a great teacher and lots of fun.  

Fabric Added - 4.64 yds
Fabric added YTD - 93.84
Fabric Used - 0, zero, nada
Fabric used YTD - 87.61 yds

To see more stash reports, go to Judy's here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Houston Trip

My trip to Houston was so much fun, even though it was fast and furious.  It was raining when we left home, and from Dallas to Houston we encountered some very scary weather and a major delay in arrival time, but we made it safely.  It was raining in Houston when we arrived too, but it didn't dampen our spirits at being at the International Quilt Festival. One of my friends that I went with had a quilt accepted and hanging in the show.  That was where we headed first.  Her quilt was beautiful and the quilting amazing. It is a wholecloth and all the color is done with the quilting threads. My picture does not do it justice at all.  It was a previous winner at MQS earlier this year.

All My Rowdy Friends by Ann McNew
The show did not disappoint.  I was on sensory overload after spending hours trying to see it all. There seemed to be more quilts than I remembered from past visits, the last time was many years ago -- 12 yrs. to be exact.  There were many special exhibits from around the world - "The Many Faces of Jerusalem"; Winning Quilts from the Open European Quilt Championships 2013; Prize-Winning Quilts from International Quilt Week Yokohama 2012; Taiwan Environmental and Ecological Art Quilts; Tapestries of a South Korean Woman; O Canada 2013; The Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2013; Quilts of Valor; Healing Quilts in Medicine; Hoffman Challenge; AAQI quilts and many, many more.

Here are a few pictures from the Quilts of Valor exhibit that caught my eye.
 Doesn't this one look like each strip is hanging freely?  It wasn't, at least I don't think it was; but my eyes are not as good as they once were!
This one had amazing detail in white blocks

Sorry about the shadows, the ceiling light was at my back and I couldn't avoid some shadows.

 There were signatures around some of the stars.

The next time I go to the Houston show, I definitely will stay longer and plan ahead so as to not be on a tight budget! Although being there longer would have surely made a difference in my finances. It was a fun trip with two friends, one who had a quilt hanging in the show and worth the sleepless hours and scary flight.

Stash Report #44 and November Goals

The stash didn't change this week, because I brought in the same amount as I used.   I acquired a fat quarter of 'shot cotton'  and I made two blocks for a friend in my block exchange group.  So the net number remained the same.
Fabric Added  -  .25 yd
Fabric Used   - .25 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 89.20 yds
Fabric Used YTD   - 87.61 yds
Net added YTD  -  1.59 yds

Three of my October goals are rolling over to the November list since I did not finish them all.  Maybe this month will fair better, but I won't hold my breath.  There are so many activities happening this month that I'll be happy to finish one or two.

November Goals
1. Piece backing for Easy Street
2. Quilt RWB baby quilt
3. Quilt guild challenge baby quilt
4. Finish quilting liturgical quilt - almost done
5. Quilt one UFO
6. Quilt one QOV

October Goals
1. Piece a backing for Easy Street
2. Quilt RWB baby quilt
3. Finish applique on liturgical quilt - done
4. Finish 2 more knitted dish cloths - 4 done
5. Quilt baby quilt for guild challenge

To see more stash reports, visit Judy at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quilts of Valor Day & IQF

As you are reading this, I am high in the sky heading to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I told you it was going to be a very special Halloween for me this year. I hope to meet some bloggers that I follow and lots of wonderful quilts and quilty stuff.  Can't wait!!. My morning started at 4:00 a.m. (ugh!! not my favorite part of the trip).  Once we touch down in Houston though, all this early morning suffering will be forgotten.   Hope your Halloween is as much fun as I'm going to have!

Wednesday we had our last Quilts of Valor quilting day for 2013.  It was a record day with 148 quilters attending.  It was also the day we drew for our raffle quilt winner.  This year we have hand quilted over 300 quilts and since our first meeting about 8 years ago, we have presented over 1,300 quilts from our Eastern Missouri Chapter.

Here are a few quilts that were finished recently.  There were many more but I was busy sewing and didn't get all the pictures when they were taken out of the frames. The first 4 were pieced by Linda H. She wants to be sure the ladies in the military are not forgotten.

Pieced by Jackie H.

Close up of quilting

Pieced by Carol S.
We are now on a break until 2014.  There will still be some ladies finishing up hand quilting those that were left on the frames today or putting on bindings and stitching them down.  We will start again fresh in January.