Monday, December 29, 2014

Oh Yeah, it's Monday!

I'm late to the party! Can you believe it?  I spent the morning working on some personal bookkeeping and then after having watched the second Hunger Games movie the other night, I wanted to see the third one before it left the theater, so Nick and I went to the movie and had lots of butter-flavored oily and salty popcorn - but oh it tasted so good. Why is that?  Something so obviously bad, tastes so good! No dinner for me!

Anyway, back to the party.  Bonnie Hunter gave us a very easy clue this week.  It only took a couple of hours to finish it.  I'm still completely clueless as to how this is all going to fit together.  I've a smattering of the different components pinned to my design wall and in no specific arrangement.

Grand Illusion Blocks
Grand Illusion Clue #5 Simple 4-Patch black/yellow/pink
Grand Illusion Clue #5 4-Patch in yellow/aqua
Don't forget to check out those linking up at Quiltville, and at Patchwork times - I'm hitting both those parties today.

With having even more time on my hands after completing the latest clue, I cleared my workspace and put together the two remaining hot pad kits I had purchased in 2013 at Sisters.  Both have the same aproned hen with eggs, but the fabrics are different.  While making them, I was conscious of my placements when layering so that when I trimmed, I'd save as much fabric as possible - now added to my scrap bin but not counted as an addition to my stash, only a couple of strips, however, remaining also were the strips of InsulBrite, so I zig-zagged those together on my machine and used that to make yet another hot pad pulling a little fabric from my stash - believe me, it doesn't use much!

All four hot pads. 

Center was pre-embroidered on papery foundation

Love the cute little chicks fabric!

This one from 'pieced' InsulBrite - no embroidered center here!  It's only slightly smaller, under an inch, than the originals from kits.
 The hot pads were a nice change of pace on which to work.  They went together quickly.  They're quilted in the ditch along all the inner border seams.  I should make a bunch of these and practice my free motion quilting.  The binding is just a one-inch extension of the backing fabric rolled to the front and sewed down.  I chose not to add hanging loops on the latter three, but did include it in the first one - it was a bit of a pain, so I figure I can just get some round plastic loops and sew them on, but if I keep them all, I may not bother at all as I don't hang my pot holders and hot pads - they'll be used and get stained and all that goes with daily functions, and I just stack them in a cupboard.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It's Final...Year End Report

This year has passed too quickly, and due to the events of the year, I've not whittled down my fabric stash as much as hoped.  In fact, I added more to it!  2015 may be the same.  I say that because I plan on doing a shop hop along the Oregon coast with my aunt in February and who can do a shop hop without buying more fabric?  My plans aren't always God's plans, so we shall see what actually happens. 

Here's my final report; it hasn't changed since the last one in week 49.  Looking forward, there will be some out though in January as we finish up the Grand Illusion mystery quilt, but for 2014...these are my numbers.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 15.62 yards  
Added This Week Month: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 100.99 yards  
Net Used Added for 2014: 85.37 yards 

Linking @ Patchwork Times

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday...and I Forgot!

It's Friday! And I forgot until just moments ago that today is the clue for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt!  I'm going to go check it as soon as I post this.  Why did I forget?  I was SO focused on getting Nick to his appointment to take his driver's test!  And he PASSED first try, with only being gigged on one thing, whoohoooo!  Off to look for that clue :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mystery Monday Progress

It feels good to be completely on track having all steps of the Grand Illusion mystery quilt completed.  That's at least one item of NON-stress during this time at home.

Linking up to Quiltville and wondering if in the next step, only two left, we will be tying all of the components together or if there's still a missing component to work on.  How many are playing with possible solutions?  I'm most intrigued by the green and neutral with one black square and how it will fit with the other components given its size is different.  Go to Quiltville and see how others may be guessing - and if you stopped by from there, thank you and have a wonderful Christmas.

Our tree had not yet been decorated but I had chains of Step #4 so took advantage and draped them on the tree for this photo.

Close-up, duh, right?  I'm good at stating the obvious ;p

All of the individual clue blocks grouped together.  How will they go together?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Little Different Something

Early in the week I was all caught up on Grand Illusion, and thinking about finding something else to work on.  Digging out a major project wasn't appealing so I tidied up my sewing spaces a little and came across the perfect little project.

In summer 2013 I'd gone to the Sisters Quilt Show in Sisters, OR for the very first time.  While there, at one of the vendor locations I found some hot pad projects.  I bought three. One was of a cute kitty in green on muslin.
The kit came with the fabric, a square of Insulbright, the pre-embroidered center and the instructions.  I found the instructions to be a bit confusing, but in the end figured out how to do it.  There were two options and the option I used didn't use the 'solid' red fabric.  Neither portion of the directions gave clear info as to how to make the triangle corners (see the itsy bitsy photo that came with the pattern - the one at the upper right in the above photo).  I could have figured that out I suppose but didn't want to make the effort.  I also had to remove the paper-like foundation that was used on the backside and even with a pair of pointy tweezers and a pin it was not easy - too many little spots and I was afraid I'd break the stitching, so on this one, there might still be some teensy pieces of foundation left behind.  Overall, I'd say I spent about two hours from start to finish which included trying to understand the directions and pulling the backing paper off.
Above is the finished product.  It is 10" square, a really nice size to use as a hot pad or even a large pot-holder.  I think it's really cute, and I have to apologize for your having to bend your head to your shoulder but that's Blogger's problem - I did not take the photo sideways but that's how it uploads, and I haven't reached the point of really editing my photos for the blog yet...all in due time.
About now you're wondering what this photo of a clear bag inside a Popcornopolis tin is all about.  I'd mentioned a little about it in a post back in January. This tin, and its original, oh-so-incredibly-yummy contents, was gifted to us last year for Christmas by my brother-in-law.  [And I found a smaller tin of it at Costco a couple weeks ago for $20! Yeah, it jumped into my cart!] Never one to throw out a good, usable, empty container (that IS a problem you know), I designated it to my sewing room & inserting a bag, am using it to capture all my thread and piecing trimmings, and any snippets of fabric or selvedges that aren't big enough to use for anything. 

It is a very full bag as you can see it sitting next to my laptop.  It's a good 11" tall squished closed as you see it.  I seem to remember that someone in the local guild uses these for dog / cat pads, so that is the destiny of these trimmings.

The other two hot pad kits are of the same aproned hen with eggs but the fabrics are different patterns but both red.  When I do them, I'll post pictures at that time.  For now, I've only removed the stabilizer backings from them - one was very easy as it was softer and less papery and came apart like a super thick tissue might; the papery one, eh, it still needs some work.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Design Wall and Grand Illusion

Clue #3 for Grand Illusion arrived on Friday - something I'm sure most are aware of by now - and the first thing I did was print out the clue as well as save it to my computer.  I do that with all of Bonnie's mystery quilts  - well, at least the ones I've done, as well as one I wanted to do but didn't - it was right about the time I 'discovered' Quiltville. 

As anxious as I was for this release, for some reason I struggled with getting moving on it.  It was a much easier clue than the first two, but still took me about as long to get it done, but done it is, except for the pressing open of the gazillion units.  I'll leave you now with just a few photos of mine, and I will be linking at both Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, and at Quiltville for the Grand Illusion Mystery Monday link-up.
This is an assortment from the first two clues; three separate components: half-square triangles, an hour-glass 4-P block, and doubled diamonds. 

Clue #3 gave us these, but these are only half of the finished unit.  What? No, wait! Oops, these are mistakes - did you catch that I sewed the two greens side by side whereas the neutral square should be between the greens?...a little unsewing only to resew correctly did the trick.

A gazillion 1/2 units.  the 1/2 is 1/2 too many - oops. .

And finally, a selection of the finished units. 
I haven't tried playing around to see how Bonnie might have these for a final layout, I think we're missing too many pieces yet.  

I've been trimming (Bonnie's system) any smaller pieces as I work each unit - hoping that will keep my leftover scraps tamed to the point of only having a little to tend to when this project is finished.

My iron awaits, so off to press these units and then I can be busy with wonderful housework (I jest on the latter.).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Open, Open, Open

Remember that television commercial that said that?  I think it was for Mervyn's but maybe not - shows how much attention I really pay to commercials.  But the shopper was really anxious for the store to open to do her shopping, and that's how I feel about tomorrow's Grand Illusion Clue #3.

Are you anxious and ready for it too? 

Do you think we'll get to cut into those greens yet? 
Maybe some more of the yellow constant. More neutrals? Pink? Black or turquoise?

Can't wait!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Illusion + Design Wall Monday

My single post will have to cover two link-ups again this week.  I'm happy to say that I am again completely caught up on the latest clue.  Aren't weekends fun when you can pretty much devote most of the time to a quilty project?  

Here's the link-up destinations, and then I'll leave you with photos and their comments.

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt @ Quiltville     and    

Design Wall Monday @ Patchwork Times

Neutrals.  I struggle with neutrals.  Adding neutrals with designs vs tone-on-tone is what I struggle with.  It's a new concept for me, but Bonnie Hunter uses it a lot...she makes me think outside of the box.  I chose to do the option of starting this second clue using rectangles to which squares would be added ultimately giving that bonus triangle-square.  There were two other methods given. 

Bonnie's method for marking the squares, which I typically don't do, but decided I WOULD do this time for better accuracy, was to make a template.  Initially I taped that blue triangle to my ruler, but found it annoying and realizing I had blue painter's tape at hand, decided to try my own way and, as you can see, I put the blue tape just at the edges of where that template had been taped.  I was then able to draw the line for the bonus triangle-square and then draw a diagonal line to fit the clue's requirement.

My pile with the pink squares sewn on and the bonus triangle-squares already cut off.  The blacks were then added to the other end and likewise trimmed.

The pile of pink and neutral bonus triangle-squares.
Oh! This is intermission.  I had to run to the store for some barley to make beef-barley soup and these jumped off the shelf and into my cart.  Have you tried these yet?  They're good; they appease my potato chip addiction, I will buy them again, but I think I still prefer either plain or sour cream & onion, and can you believe someone won $1,000,000 as a prize for coming up with this flavor?  I'll admit to just a little envy.

What's this?  Two completed blocks from Friday's clue #2.  Fun!  and I'm utterly clueless still as to how these will play together with the blocks from clue #1.  Not enough information yet, and that's what will keep us anxious for the next clue!  We have yet to cut into those greens, and there's still a whole lot of yellow, neutral, black, turquoise and pink awaiting further instructions.

I love some of these choices for neutrals more than others, some are just plain fun, others are just filling in the blanks.

Can you handle just one more picture of the bonus triangle-squares?  The blacks are mixed into this pile too.  I've not pressed them open yet, and as wobbly as my seams can sometimes be, I will have to check each and every one of them and maybe even sliver trim.  Bonnie says they should all be the same size, but I know how my 'thread or two' off widths can skew those sizes.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stash Report - Week 49, 2014

It's been a few weeks since I've reported about my stash again.  I'm happy to say I haven't added anything more, but then I haven't subtracted anything either.  I have pulled, and am using fabrics from my stash which included some of those previous additions I acquired while up north.  The only project I'm working on at present is of course, the Quiltville Mystery Quilt.  If I can keep up with it, so far I have, then shortly after the first of the year, I'll be able to count that fabric out, but it will count against 2015, not 2014.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 15.62 yards  
Added This Week Month: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 100.99 yards  
Net Used Added for 2014: 85.37 yards 

Linking @ Patchwork Times
Since I'll be posting for Design Wall Monday and the Quiltville progress link-up also on Monday, I'll wait and post pictures then. 
Hope everyone's having a restful, and blessed Lord's Day. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mystery Progress

There are a whole lot of folks out there working on Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery this year, and today we link up at her blog to show our progress. Click on her name and it'll take you to her post.

I started mine on Saturday, a full day after the release of Part 1.  Even so, I spent the rest of the weekend working on very little else, so by 11:00 p.m. last night, I had it all done.  Now my week is free for the endless stream of household chores and other activities needed to get my home in ship-shape (as if, lol) for Christmas.  

Some of my options for three of the colors, I weeded a few out.

My constant fabric all cut.

Chains of block components.

Oops! that needs to be unsewn, flipped and resewn! I found two of which I had sewn with both squares right sides up instead of facing each other.

Some of the blocks finished.  I'm not even going to attempt to guess as to how Bonnie plans these in the overall layout.
Will next week have us working with the greens and the neutrals, or a combination of those and some of the ones we worked on this week?


I am also linking this as my Design Wall Monday post at Patchwork Times.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday

While I don't officially have anything on my design wall, I have been playing with fabric scraps.  

Way back in early summer - seems like only yesterday - my aunt gave me a whole heaping bunch of scraps.  I sorted through them and fire-tested for cotton and ridded the bunch of any with polyester in them.  I then washed them all, yep, including the itty bitty pieces and strips and strings and chunks...all of it because she doesn't pre-wash, and nothing comes into my quilt room and stash if it isn't washed.  An exception is made for precuts of which I have very few and they're in plastic, just can't see paying extra to buy something I can cut myself.
A handful of this all crumpled up and messy ..... this, mostly trimmed and pressed flat.
A bunch still in the bottom of paper grocery bag - there were two full bags, pressed down.
These are all various sizes of half-square triangles....
....gathered and stacked to help flatten before pressing...
...and pressed ...
a growing pile
There were two fat quarters and a whole lot of pieces smaller along with full width strips of various sizes.  All are a nice addition to my scrap bins, so now, on to the sorting and cutting...making my own pre-cuts ;p

Connecting at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stash Report, Week 46, 2014

I am home and catching up.  During this week I have done laundry and lots of it, but probably not much else other than decompress.  Considered part of laundry are the fabrics I purchased during my four weeks in the wet land.  All fabric gets pre-washed.  My aunt and I took part in a small shop hop but only made it to four of eleven shops - we just didn't have the time to make it to the others, though it was very tempting to get to a couple more one day when we went to a memorial service, but we had one of my uncles and a distant cousin with us so decided not to and our time was too short anyway.

So, back to the details.  My numbers are clearly going in the wrong direction, but after actually seeing my aunt's stash, I think I have room to grow ;p

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 15.62 yards  
Added This Week Month: 22.43 yards  
Added Year to Date: 100.99 yards  
Net Used Added for 2014: 85.37 yards 
Linking @ Patchwork Times

My aunt let me go shopping in her stash!  Can you tell what these colors are for?  There are at least two that won't be included in that project.

While at my dad's, my sister and I went through a cedar chest my mom had.  In it were these cotton fabrics, along with five or six bleached feed sack fabrics.  The pink & whites are both pillow ticking, but aren't real heavy so can be used for quilting, even if only for storage sacks for finished quilts.
This is one of the feedsack fabrics.  You can still see a remnant of whatever markings were originally on it.  You can also see quite a bit of staining; I believe at least a couple of these were used as kitchen toweling.
These came from a favorite quilt shop that I go to up there each year.  I was shopping for fabrics for an upcoming mystery quilt.  Do you know which one?
These came from a shop I've been to before, but one whose fabrics don't generally appeal to me.  Some shops are that way.  This shop is still for sale in the capital city.  The green (maybe?) and the blacks will go in the mystery quilt.  I'm not sure about the bit of yellow in the banana leaves nor the purple for that quilt so will wait and see when the first cutting instructions are released.
These came from a big crafting store in that capital city.  I'd never been there before.  All, or only some, will go in that mystery quilt.  Those that don't will go back into the stash.

Do you know I had to look up the difference between capital and capitol to make sure I spelled it correctly.  I'm slipping in my "old" age!  I had it with an "o" but found out that only refers to the capitol building in the capital city.

So how have you done on additions or subtractions to your stash, whatever time frame that encompasses? 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stash Report - Week 43, 2014

I may not be at home and getting any sewing in, but I know how to add to my stash.  There's a wonderful fabric shop here in town.  And there's a shop hop going on, so I have 1 of 11 shops visited. Not sure I'll get to more than one or two more, but I'd like to try, especially if I can get my aunt to go with me.  The hop only goes through Nov. 1st and the weather is not what I want to be out in - raining and 30 mph winds with gusts up to the 40 & 50 mph ranges yesterday!  Still pouring today.

The purchase I made this week was for the 'constant' fabric for an upcoming annual mystery quilt, so that was two yards because I may decide to use the same fabric for the binding.  I also bought three fat quarters, two of which are neutrals, and one is in the green shade needed.  I was hoping to shop my stash but since I'm 890 miles from it, I'll just pick up a few extras while I'm gone and add some new variety to my scraps.  It's a good thing, right?  

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 15.62 yards  
Added This Week: 2.75 yards  
Added Year to Date: 78.56 yards  
Net Used Added for 2014: 62.94 yards 

Linking @ Patchwork Times

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stash Report - Week 40, 2014

This week I pulled out another one of those starts from last year.  This one was Gathered Over Time and I've already written a couple of things about it this week, so I won't bore you with too many more details.

It was an easy quilt; simple 9-patch units and solid squares set on point.  There were quarter-square triangles to set off the ends of each row, and half-square triangles to finish the four corners. 

The amount of fabric required for this quilt, not counting backing or binding, was 4.2 yards total of light and dark scraps for the 9-Ps and for the solid (tone-on-tone) squares as the background.  That is the amount I'm counting out of my stash though a small portion of that went back into scrap circulation as I'm a frugal cutter.

Here's the finished flimsy.  It measures about 58 x 70.  I laid it out on my living room floor and stood up on the sofa arm to take the photo. 

Used This Week: 4.2 yards 
Used Year to Date: 15.62 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 75.81 yards  
Net Used Added for 2014: 60.19 yards   
Linking @ Patchwork Times

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What's Wrong With This Picture...Yet Again

After last week's flimsy finish, I've been busily working on Gathered Over Time.  I'll post more on that tomorrow as it is now a flimsy and I can count that fabric out of my stash.

Some nights I was working on this sweet little quilt until 11:00 or later, and you know it's said that you shouldn't keep working on something when you're tired.  Well, here's proof, and you can see what is wrong with this picture.
Hmmm, it looks like it could make a good boat, but that just isn't right!
Nope, those ends do not align correctly, rippit, rippit.
Ah yes, now that looks more like it.

And don't you love that yellow tape on my design wall?  Some day I will cover the wall with white flannel...some day!

Come back tomorrow and check out the flimsy finish.

Monday, September 29, 2014

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I've resumed work on another project that had been set aside late last year.  This one was my October 2013 NewFO and I wrote about it here last November and at that time linked to Cat Patches where Barbara hosts her monthly NewFO Challenge.

Pinned to design wall for block placement.
The project, titled Gathered Over Time was all cut out and the 9-Patch units were all sewn together.  Last night I laid them all out on the design wall, then removed them by rows, labeling as I did.  Today I began sewing the blocks together and they are going together so very nicely.  With this project being set on point (not to be confused with ballet's en pointe) I put the first corner section together, well sort of.  When I pulled out the half-square triangle corner unit, my-oh-my but it looks big, and it IS!

This is what's WRONG!

It may not be the easiest to see, but look at the size of that corner unit, it's ginormous! 
A close up which shows it extending on the two sides about an inch beyond where it needs to be.  My first thought of course, was 'oh, I goofed'.  I went back to the instructions and double-checked my cutting.  Nope, I didn't goof, as instructed, I cut two 6" squares in half diagonally to make four half-square triangles for the corner units. 
I searched online to see if an errata had been posted anywhere and there was not.  I shouldn't complain, better to be way too big and be able to cut down, than have the reverse, and this was a free pattern put out by Windham Fabrics...oops!  I noticed too that the quarter-square setting triangles for the sides are a wee bit over-sized too, but not as badly as the corner triangles.  I'll just trim all four sides of the quilt when the top is done.

While typing this up, I remembered it's Monday which means I can link this up over at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday - way cool!  Then I can get back to sewing while watching-listening to The Voice.
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