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.
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