Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

Hah, that is the question.  Yesterday, ahem, last night actually, I posted that my then post might be the last of 2013.  Well, what did I forget?  I forgot that today is the day to link up at Cat Patches to show what NewFO was started for December, so yeah, what WAS I thinking?  Clearly, I was not thinking.

Well, this is probably getting old by now, but the NewFO I started for December was the same as what I linked to for the Celtic Solstice Mystery Monday link up and Design Wall Monday link up.  What's a gal to do?  December is a busy month...period, even for us who aren't extremely active and self-motivated.  How I wish I could change that, but you know the old adage "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  And I feel as if I'm old as dirt, especially in December! I keep trying to change though, and I got a lot of starts in during 2013.  Finishes though, that's another story...I managed ONE, which is better than none, right?

My December NewFO...none other than Celtic Solstice, but I'll add a new picture, so maybe it'll be less same-o, same-o, eh?

Don't you forget to link up over at Cat Patches with your December NewFO.  She's giving away the cutest little lamb/sheep Needle-Nanny for December, and I really hope my name is drawn...I've been trying for 12 months after all, but if I don't that's ok too because someone will and it could be you!:)

Monday, December 30, 2013


This will be a quick post, probably the last 'quilty' post of 2013....unless I make it back on here tomorrow, lol!

I'm linking up to Quiltville, for my Celtic Solstice progress as well as to Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  By the way, how'd we get to Monday already?  So if you clicked on my link at one or the other of those two wonderful sites, you can skip clicking on me at the second one because it'll just be the same post.

Celtic Solstice is all I've worked on this week.  I was able to finish up Step 4 on Friday, the day Bonnie released Step 5, which I also started as soon as Step 4 was done.  I finished Step 5 on Saturday! Yay!! I'm completely caught up on it, and I've had the last couple days to do other year-end stuff, I'll write about that at D.O.O.W.  But for now, here's just a few shots of my latest progress:

Callie showing off her first block.  She looks quite smug.

My bin holding all of the finished components.

One block all by itself.
And now, it's time to go work on dinner and finish the last loads of laundry before my guys head off for a few days to visit Nick's Grandpa....an 8-10 hour drive to the east of here.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mystery Monday Progress

I'll keep it short this Monday morning, shoot, it's almost afternoon here on the west coast!  Well, this is earlier than I usually post, and that's because I have so much to do and am so far behind that I wanted to get it done in order to focus on the deeds that need to be done.  With that, I'm linking up at Quiltville for my Celtic Solstice progress.  Callie was still sleeping so she didn't get into today's picture, naughty girl.

At least on C.S. I'm mostly current.  I need only do 11 more sets for the 4-patches, and all of the final joining seams the other quantity of 4-patches I've done.  I have two completely finished and I did those so that I'd have a photo to share, thus they are identical.

I'm hoping to finish those final seams today, but if it's anything like my having made comments like that in the past, it'll be two or three days before I'm finally done with them.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stash Report - Week 51, 2013

It's the next to the last stash report for 2013.  For me, it's another "nothing in, nothing out" week.  I can't complain, I am sewing, from my stash but nothing completed.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 46.375 yards  
Net Used for 2013: -36.125 yards

Linking up to Patchwork Times.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Briefly Sewing

I've done only a little sewing this week, but it was enough to be caught up on Celtic Solstice so that now I can work on this morning's release of Step 4.  

Callie made sure all the units made so far are pressed correctly:

It's been a crazy week, with the craziest event happening on Wednesday.  You can read about that at DOoW. (Duck Out of Water).  All is 'calm' now, and I'm looking forward to working on C.S. this evening and tomorrow.  With easy-peasy (famous last words, right?) 4-patches, I would think it will go quickly.  

I had to clean off some of my surroundings today so that I will be able to cut the strips that I need from the greens and the oranges.  First though, I will make sure I don't have any strips in those colors in the appropriate size strip bin - I think I've already checked, but these days I don't always remember what I think I did. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Callie's Been Busy

My Celtic Solstice buddy has been busy helping me out.  She put these block units up on the design wall.  Hmm, is there a star in this plan?  We'll have to wait until the reveal, but in the meantime, Callie's making sure I keep up...well, mostly.  My units from Step 1 are done.

My units from Step 2 are done, oops, all but one.  I seem to be half a chevron unit short.  Should I look under the desk?  Did Callie hide it from me?  Maybe Raven or Flame (aka Klepto-Kat) ran off with it.  Nah, likely I just mis-counted, you know my reputation for coming up short on my counts.  I think I have five extra HSTs though.

My Step 3 units, are in process.  I finished one unit and Callie snatched it right up and pinned it to the design wall.  See it there in the center of that one set-up she made to look like a star?  These little pinwheels are way cute, I like them!

I also noticed that one of my fabrics there, the one with the swirls in the tannish-orange is the same as one Bonnie Hunter has in hers.  Do you notice things like that on occasion?  With all the scrappy love she puts out, it's a high probability that we'll see familiar fabrics that we share in our stashes.  Love scrappies :)

I almost forgot, this needs to get linked up, so head over to Quiltville and see how others are doing.  Hah! you probably got here from there and have already seen them, way before I was able to get to my Sanctuary and my computer today!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hopeful for 2014

This past year, I participated in a NewFO Challenge that Barbara at Cat Patches was hostessing.  She's repeating that challenge again this year and her instructions can be found here.  She's also offering a prize each month!

I'm not sure how I will accomplish this without adding to my stash, not that that's a requirement, but it's a self-imposed one for as long as Marty's unemployed.  I do have a very small pre-job-loss stash of funds if I absolutely need to add some fabric.  Define need :)


It was a lot of fun trying to keep up with a new project each month during 2013.  Some months, I didn't get started until the last day or so, but start I did.  And of course, none are finished, hehe.  So I'm building up my UFO stacks and you can see those by clicking on the "UFO Parade" tab at the top of the page. 

At some point, and I sincerely hope I can exercise the discipline to do so, I would like to think that I might get at least two, or more, of those UFOs quilted and off to their intended recipients.  Some do have intended recipients...who have been patiently waiting for years, ahem.

So what projects might I start in 2014?  Well, some may come from my "Some Day" Quilts, that list is also available through the tab at the top of the page. I had those there all this past year as well, and you can see which ones from the list were actually started, and since I started 12 NewFOs in 2013, I obviously didn't stick to just this list.

These are something I'd like to start, and finish, in 2014.  

I bought them while at the Sister's show this past summer.  They're hot pads, and come pre-embroidered, with fabric and insul-brite.  I can't imagine they'd take very long to put together.  I actually have three of them, one of the kitty, and two of the chicken.  After all the big projects from 2013, something small in 2014 would be a good thing, a really good thing.

I would also like to do something with some orphan blocks I have languishing in a plastic tub.  I'm thinking I could turn them into mug rugs, more hot pads or placemats.  They could be great gifts that way, or donations to quilt guild fund-raisers.

So if you haven't gotten onto the band wagon yet at Cat Patches, head on over and see if it's something you'd like to do for 2014.

Stash Report Week 50

We're closing in on the final reports for 2013, only two more weeks and we'll be starting fresh in 2014.  My reporting method will change.  Currently, I have only counted yardage out of the stash when a quilt has been completely finished...and there's only been one of those this year, but there have been many starts.  

For 2014, I will count yardage in stages.  
  • When I have a flimsy, I will count that yardage.  
  • When I pin a backing to it, I will then count the backing fabric.
  • When it's finished, I will count the binding.  
That goes for anything that has not yet reached the flimsy stage.  I have a number of quilts already at flimsy, or with backs pinned, and bindings made for which I've never counted as out of my stash.  If I work on them at all, I will count the fabric as used during that week up to the stage they're in, and make a note on the corresponding record sheet so that I don't accidentally count it again.

I believe I'll see some better numbers used for 2014.  At this moment, I'm not expecting to be adding much unless Marty finds a job.

I'll link this up now at Patchwork Times.  Note that there is still no change from a few weeks ago when I last reported.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 46.375 yards  
Net Used for 2013: -36.125 yards

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Looking Back

2013 is rolling to a close like a runaway train.  We're two weeks from Christmas, then another week and it's New Years.  Too quickly I say, just too quickly.

I'll let these pictures show the past year:

O Christmas Tree, quilt class in March

Leader/Ender sets


Finishing Lois' quilt

Lois' quilt

Simple Tribute II

Spools, leader/ender units

Still looks like this

Nick graduated 8th grade

String blocks

Oh what a mess

Sisters in July

Quilt room, aka Sanctuary, under remodel


Tessellating Ts

Nick looking a bit like one of the Duck Dynasty dudes and Aunt Irene






There was cooking

Sister's Choice
There's been so much more and to see some of the processes of my quilt piecing projects, you'd have to head back over to my Duck Out of Water archives and browse.

I'm still meeting with my quilt student almost every week, though I have to say, she hasn't done much quilt work lately, and I haven't taught much, but we've sure been having a nice time chatting!

Tonight, I'm tired, so I'll just take in some TV and maybe play a game on the computer while I do, and tomorrow I hope to make some progress on Celtic Solstice and be ready for Friday's Step 3. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday with Celtic Solstice Progress

I'll kill two birds with one stone today by linking this post to both Patchwork Times and Quiltville for Design Wall Monday and Celtic Solstice Mystery Monday Link-up, respectively.

The Sister's Choice blocks didn't progress any further this week and the finished blocks are still pinned exactly the same as last Monday.  However, Step Two of  Celtic Sostice progress has been made, though I had hoped I'd have made it further along.  All of the pieces are cut.  The first ones with the slant all going the same way were almost done when, late afternoon, the bobbin ran out of thread, so with just 11 more of which to add the final yellow, I stopped to go work on dinner.  That was yesterday, and when I returned to the Sanctuary after dinner, I opted to watch some television and trim a bunch of those bonus triangles.  In looking around, I need to do a bit of tidying up in the Sanctuary before working on it today.

 Calli finished cutting all those pieces, they had to be starched first as I get better accuracy when they are.  I always pre-wash my fabric before bringing it into the Stash Closet in the Sanctuary and it can be flimsy at times.  We'd best be careful, she might mistake those yellows for a banana.  That would mess up my count now wouldn't it?
Bonus triangles
 I've been making bonus triangles as I do my projects.  Some of these are from other projects, thus the reds and blues.  None had been trimmed, so I thought I'd get that out of the way.
 I know, that looks to be not square, but it's only because it hasn't been pressed and the red was sticking up rather than laying flat.  And yes, it is that small.  They are 1.25" raw, so when sewn together some day, they will finish at .75"...unless I do an extremely skinny seam and try to get a 1" finish.  Not something I'm worrying about today.
Here's the 11 that were unfinished when the bobbin emptied along with the finished ones still all chained together.  I also need to run the second seam for the bonus triangles before truly calling them 'half done'.  Then I can start the other 100 with the diagonal going the opposite direction, and then on to putting the two halves together.  With my string of activities this week, I might have them done by Friday's Step Three release.

Smooth Stitchin'

Friday, December 6, 2013

Calli and Celtic Solstice

What a week!  Sure wish I had the energy level portrayed by two of my favorite bloggers.  I'm sure most of you know them: Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville and Judy Laquidara of Patchwork Times.  These ladies put me to shame with all that they accomplish. My activities are no where near theirs, but I'm worn out.  I've had several naps this week.

So here I am at Friday.  Today was the release of the second clue or step of the Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt at Quiltville. I had hoped to get started on that today, and I may yet this evening.  But before I start on the next step, I want to have the first step done.  I had about 10 minutes worth of trimming this morning and said "Done" though I wasn't really sure, because you see, lately my accounting hasn't been spot on so I recounted them.  Oh yeah, blew it again. I am not done, and will be cutting a few more pieces and sewing them up tonight.

And you thought I was kidding about orange(s) for the background.

Remember me?  I'm guarding these orange-background units. 
Of the units with orange background, I needed ## units as I'm making the smaller of the two sizes of quilts the instructions are being provided for.  Would you like to guess how many I have?  Um, only ##.  And I was wondering why I had four orange triangles left over.  But that's still one shy, plus I need all the side triangle wings to go with those five.

Moving on to the neutral background units, I needed ##.  Um, and how many of those do I have?  If you guessed exactly ### you'd be right.  I suppose the wing triangles of the extra four there should have gone on the four "extra" orange triangles and then I'd really only have been short one unit. I am not going to unstitch them and resew to the orange background, I will cut all new pieces of the blue along with the one orange piece needed.

Remember my little monkey mascot friend from a previous post?  He/she didn't have a name yet, and I couldn't think of anything, so I Googled "names for green monkey" and wouldn't you know, there actually is a 'green monkey' (also known as a Callithrix Monkey so that's where Calli as a name came from) though I was hard-pressed to tell from the online picture that it's 'green' at all, and it certainly isn't green like Calli.  And with a name like Calli, it just sounds feminine so Calli is a she. Calli will keep me company, and I hope she learns to count better than I can.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Some Christmas Music

Have you seen / listened to this?  It's been running viral on Facebook.  I think it's pretty cool.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Back On Target

Alright!  I'm back in the groove, but far behind where I was, or at least thought I was.  I took all the stitching out of every single unit, both sides. 

My plan today was to finish picking the loose threads out of the last bunch of 30 or so units that remained by bedtime last night.  Didn't happen until late in the day.  And not without another issue.  I had napped before getting back to this, and obviously was not yet awake when I put the first two 'flaps' on the side of the triangle.  Ack!  Glad that was only the first two of the re-sew chain!

Um, yeah, time to wake up!

But, now I have all of two units re-sewn with narrower seams and they are looking good.  I will be working on these all evening.

That's more like it, whew!

First 'flap' on several triangles.

This is what I've been working on but still on my design wall is Sister's Choice.  I had hoped to be working on a few more of those blocks.  Ah well, later in the week I will get to them.  I haven't even had time to check what others have posted at Patchwork Times for today's link-up, but if you're here, you've probably already been there because I'm getting this posted now.  

I am also linking up to Quiltville for Monday's progress report on Celtic Solstice.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well, Shoot!!

After all these years of piecing and quilting, you'd think I'd learn.  Nope!  

What is it I should have learned?  I'm sure you're asking that.

See this picture below?  This picture of one of the units for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 2013?  Notice how far off it is at that end?  Yeah! That far!  And that is just not acceptable, not to me, and maybe not to you either!  Back to what I need to RE-learn, again, and yes that's redundancy in that statement...now I need to REDO!  All of them!!!  

3.5" x 3.5" ... um, not quite!

I need to relearn to always, always, always either make a test block, or at the least confirm my measurements within the first half-dozen units.  Grrrr, I'm so mad at myself.  My seam allowances are off...even though they were working perfectly for the Sister's Choice blocks I was working on the past couple of weeks - go figure.

I'll be spending the next however many hours removing my stitching, being careful of those bias edges, remeasuring each piece to make sure I haven't stretched them out, cutting new pieces if I did, and restitching, and measuring as I go.  In fact, I just may measure every single unit before going on to the next. I had all of them sewn which took about eight hours.  On top of that I managed to end up with four extra orange triangles, so where did I mis-count...again...questioning my math, or my ability to count.

I have this little guy keeping me company for this project.  He's going to be my Celtic Solstice mascot.  I don't normally like monkeys, but he's still really cute.  He's wearing a tie covered with bananas.  Adorable.  His little hands have Velcro, so there's no telling where he might be hanging out in the future.  Here, he's praying, because, face it, I could use some prayer about now after botching all these triangle units!  He needs a name, I just need to come up with one.

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