Saturday, December 31, 2016

En Provence Greens

Part 6 was issued yesterday, finally calling for the greens.  I had pulled all the greens I had available after Bonnie gave us the paint chip colors.  When I picked up the chip card at Lowe's, I found the one with the 'correct' color on a card with variable shades on it.  

All of my fabrics seem to be in the lighter ranges.  Or in the bluer green ranges.  In my entire yardage stash, I have only one green that's the 'correct' shade, but I don't want to cut the yardage (trying to work through smaller strips and scraps first) and that yardage has brown-shaded feathers all over it which I don't think will set well with the other colors.
In the above photo, those on the left are clearly not being considered.  Those on the right are all I have but are in the lighter range, looking even lighter from the flash.  The 'correct' color is on the paint chip card, the second from the top.  There are two darker fabrics in the pile on the right, but I think I'll include them even though they are brighter because they both have yellow in them and a bit of lighter green.  I think they'll mix well and add a pop here and there.  The strips on the far right are not going to be included except maybe the piece on the top.  I might include the one with the pink flowers too because the pink coordinates with the magenta.

The only fabric I've purchased for this project is the backing, two quarter-yard pieces of lavender, and one piece of neutral.  The rest is all from my stash and I'm good with that.  One of the fun things of doing a mystery quilt from scraps/stash is that one can play with color variation, so mine will have lighter greens than what was called for.  It's still in the same family, but may give a slightly different look.  We shall see.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday After Christmas Link-ups

This has been my best Christmas in many years...mostly from the standpoint of my personal "state of being".  I am thankful for that and give all praise to the One whose birth we celebrate on Christmas.

This week I spent just a couple hours at my sewing machine, working on the same thing as many of you in blog land were or maybe still are, En Provence Part 5.  I did not finish the full requirement yet and am about 23 short for now.  I also still need to trim those I have done.
En Provence Part 5
Linking at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday

and at

Quiltville Mystery Monday

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday Link-ups Again

Linking up with both Patchwork Times (Design Wall Monday) and Quiltville (Mystery Monday).

Today has been busy.  First thing was a dentist appointment to seat a permanent replacement crown, then shopping at Walmart, home to put it all away, and then finally we made it out to get a Christmas tree.  Just in time too, I'd say.  The lot was ready to close up, un-decorate and head home for the season!  I'm guessing I'll be decorating a tree this afternoon/evening once the boxes are brought down from the garage loft.  

On to the quilty business at hand.

I worked on En Provence this week...right along with what seems to be half the quilters in the world.  
Spike units
I got busy and did all the Spike units, but do you notice anything?  These are the leftovers.  I sat down to start sewing, and realized I didn't pay attention when I cut.  ALL but a few were cut for one side only.  I hadn't laid my fabric down correctly when I cut so all were the same; only a few opposite sides were cut.  Back to the cutting mat!  Those top fabrics look blue, but they are purple.  Don't they make you hungry for blue-berry pie though?
Part 4 Unit
Sewing these Part 4 units, I must not have been as careful as when I did the Part 2 units.  About 14 of them needed to be re-worked, so they were un-sewed, and resewn more carefully.  Then I sliver-trimmed them all and all is now well.

Ongoing rounds of consecutive units.
Adding a round of the unit 4 to the previous three rounds has toned down the purples/lavenders from Part 3, even though it added more purple.  Friday seems so far away at this point.  I wonder if we'll be cutting into both the yellows and greens, more neutrals, or lavenders.  And what shape will the next step take?

Friday, December 16, 2016

UFO Business

I've been following Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for quite a few years, or more.  Back when I first started, she was hostessing a UFO Challenge to quilters to get their unfinished quilts done.  Don't we all, or at least most of us, have at least a few of those?  I know I have far more than just a few since my favorite part of quilting is just about everything up to the actual quilting, and I hit that brick wall mostly because I haven't perfected my free motion quilting skills.

Judy is making a reprise of her UFO Challenge which she is calling "Get It Done" [you can see the details at the link].  The basics are that we select a dozen of our unfinished projects (one for each month), make a list, and link that list up at her site.  Each month, she will choose a number and during that month, we work on our quilt with that number from our list.  

My own list of UFOs has been on my blog under a separate tab for ages, and I can see I need to update it some; mostly by adding a few more to the list.  I have over 35 unfinished projects - wow!!  I'm thinking I should jump on Judy's bandwagon and see if I can't get a few of those finished up during 2017.  

I have three that are already sandwiched and pinned which are "must do"s. They hold all my quilt pins!  They are: 

Project #020: Churn Dash/Hidden Spools
Project #054: Tiddly Winks
Project #031: Loveland Log Cabin
Beyond these three, I'm compelled to get my older projects done.  The oldest was started 13 years ago_I find it so hard to believe that many years have already passed.  I will show just the names and photos of the remaining nine projects to work towards finishing in 2017.

Project #010: Country Charms/Dragonfly
Project #015: Feathered Star
Project #016a: Bricks
Project #016b: Bricks 2
Project #018: Case of the Mysterious Voter
Project #019: Asher's Quilt
Project #021: The Puzzler
Project #026: Victoria's Wedding Quilt
Project #032: Bella Luce
And there we have it, 12 of my quilt tops that need to be finished.  I'm going to give it a try to "Get It Done", so if you have projects for which you need that extra push, or encouragement, maybe this will be what you need too.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Link-Up Monday, 12 December 2016

We're rapidly approaching mid-December! Someone, please slow time know, like when we were kids awaiting Christmas and it took for-ev-er!

Linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, and with Quiltville Mystery Monday for Part 3.

On my design wall, just playing around with my finished work, are 4-patches in purple/lavender, and 4-patches in neutrals, along with Peaky & Spike units in magenta (more like hot pink) and neutral.  I'm sure once these units are combined with the future, as yet unknown, units it will look amazing.  Adding the purple/lavenders to my display has given it an entirely different look.  Other than the neutrals, these colors are challenging me - taking me right out of my comfort zone.  Can't wait for Friday to see what's next!  
En Provence "what if"

Completed units
Hmmm, I see I didn't have the purple/lavender included in the second time.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sliver Trim Church

Today I went to church online.  My excuse is that Marty was on 'fire duty' for his job so needed to stay home in case there were any problems he had to resolve and I stay home when he does.

Today's message was a background on the Magi of the Savior's birth story.  For those whose spiritual lessons come mostly from song or erroneous traditions, the Magi were not kings (as in We Three Kings), there were not necessarily three (which has been presumed because of the three gifts mentioned in Scripture) but there were at least two, and probably more with a traveling party of a thousand or more, Scripture does not tell us their names are Caspar, Melchior or the other one I can't recall at the moment-those names came from somewhere nearly 1200 years later, they were more likely riding horses than camels [think magnificent Arab steeds-my comment], they did not arrive at the manger, but did arrive at the 'house' of Mary & Joseph when Jesus was probably a toddler, and not a baby (referred to as 'child', not baby, in Scripture) - the reason Herod sent out a decree to have all male children age two and under killed.  
Peaky & Spike (magenta & neutral) units

Well, back to quilting...while I was attending online church, I sat and sliver-trimmed the units for Part 2 of En Provence.  I must say, this is perhaps the best I've done to date on cutting and sewing accuracy.  I am very pleased with myself.  I'll be sliver-trimming the neutral 4-patches throughout the day, and then move on to turning my purple/lavender twosie sets into 4-patches.  I haven't counted them, so may still have to do more along with more of the neutrals.  But then, if I'm only doing half the size of quilt, I may be fine and will have a lot of extra units.  I can always make two, just don't want to make another big quilt for awhile.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

While I Wait

Clue #3 of Quiltville's En Provence will be released in the morning, but I'm ready to head to bed...about midnight.  I'm watching a Hallmark Movie, "Girlfriends of Christmas Past".  It's silly, and it's vindictive in it's plot, but yet I've been watching it while I finish sewing up Clue #2 and I'd like to see the predictable ending.  

Makes me smile.
I played around a little with the current clues.  Doesn't that make a cute windmill-type pattern?  I could stop here and make it into a table topper, couldn't I?  Future potential perhaps.  I'm really looking forward to finding out which color(s) we'll be cutting into tomorrow and just how we'll cut them.

For all of you who are on the east coast and get at least a 3-hour head start, enjoy while I'll still be snoozing away.  Since it's so late, I may even sleep in.  I'm sure I'll see lots of your progress in the morning.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Link-Ups; 05 December 2016

Looking back in time, today was the due date for my daughter's birth, but she made her appearance five weeks earlier.  That was 35 years ago.  So hard to believe how quickly those years have flown by!  And speaking of flying by, the En Provence mystery quilt time is flying by.  

I'm in no hurry to finish each step, I'm already ahead of where I was last year with Allietare, so I can't complain (no whining, remember?).  I've been working on it while catching up on some of the Hallmark Christmas movies I've been recording.  Love being able to breeze through the commercials...perhaps I should record ALL the shows I watch just for that reason.

Four Patches, and Peaky & Spike components
Do you remember Darlene Zimmerman?  I believe she coined the term "peaky & spike" for the units Bonnie has us cutting and sewing using our magenta constant and neutrals.  For me, it's easier to refer to them by that term.  The "peak" would be the central neutral piece, and the "spike" are the side, magenta units.  I wasn't initially crazy about my magenta, but I think I'm beginning to like it even if it does seem like it's more of a hot pink than magenta.
4Ps (Four Patches)
My four patch units are very scrappy.  I think one of my favorites is the square with the Scottie dogs.  I'm not sure why, but they do remind me of my mom.  She never had a Scottie, but she did give me a plastic Scottie dog pin that had been hers as a child.
Peaky & Spike
I haven't sewn any of the Peaky & Spike units.  I cut them out just last night, being very careful to cut accurately.  Pinned on the design wall they at least look like they should fit together, if I can sew them accurately, I'll have it made!
Close-up of Peaky & Spike
While I was cutting these, I couldn't help but think how nice it would have been to have yardage of this particular neutral.  It's background color is the yummiest looking sweet cream shade, and then those soft pink (magenta?) roses with green stems and leaves, oh, I just love that fabric!  It would be so perfect to have had this as a constant fabric for these units.  

Linking to both Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday, and to Quiltville's Mystery Monday Link-up. 

I need to get to the grocer, and then get some bookkeeping done today, and it's my day to spend a couple hours with my friend Panda, so I won't be getting much sewn until evening.  We won't even discuss how much housework needs to be done!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

En Provence Part I: in the works

Late yesterday I finally put needle and thread to fabric and now have my first round of sewing done.  They will become four-patches once I cut them apart, press and sew, trimming as I go where needed.

Having pulled from my own pre-cut fabrics, starting with the smallest sized square, then strips before hacking into chunks, FQs or yardage, I knew that most of those old cuts may not have been cut accurately.
I determined the best way around that was to draw a line, having placed the correct measurement, minus 1/4" for seam allowance, of the ruler at the left of the square/strip.  I then drew a line to be my sewing guide.  This adds time, but it will give greater accuracy.
I then placed the two pieces to be sewn right sides together.  While the corner of that top piece is just a bit raised, it shows how the piece on the bottom is just a thread or two narrower than the piece on the top.  If I'd put both pieces aligned on the right, that small amount would change the size of my block by that amount...too small!  As I see it, when properly aligned on the left, then sewing just to the right of the pencil line, recognizing that pressing open also decreases the opened width by a thread or more, it doesn't matter what width the fabric is to the right of the line.  It doesn't matter if it's a fat quarter-inch, a quarter-inch, or a scant quarter-inch.  The goal is to have an accurate finished block in the size Bonnie gave us.  You can check out her instructions here:  Quiltville En Provence Part I.
Additionally, I have blue painter's tape that I place "1/4" from my needle quite some time ago.  I had placed a ruler under the presser foot, lowered the needle on the 1/4" mark and placed the tape (I have one of Bonnie's tools for this purpose, but darned if I could find it).  You will note though, that the amount of fabric between the line, where I have the needle lowered just at the right edge, the seam allowance does not line up with the edge of that tape!  That's also a 1/4" foot I'm using and the seam allowance doesn't reach the edge of it either.  When the piece is pressed open, it will give me either the exactly accurate size needed, or a smidgen more.  And if a smidgen more, it can then be trimmed to the exact size needed.  If it were too small (had I not drawn the line) I would not be able to get the correct sized blocks.
two-patch units
I started with the smallest and sewed them with little thought as to what was matched with's scrappy and doesn't matter.
strips and pieces
I used longer strips, drew lines on some shorter strips and sewed them on too.
more pieced strips
These pieced strips will be cut to the correct size as well.  I'm making a concerted effort to get as much accuracy as possible, even with straight edges and squares.  I'm sure there will be triangles of some sort since she's told us what rulers we'll be using, so that means bias edges...they get me every time!

I chain-pieced all of this and have no idea if it comes close to even half of the required element.  I'll be stitching more today, but need to tend to some things in the kitchen first.  Today was my Costco run, and there's a sink full of dirty dishes from last night (yeah, that happens).  I'd made a big pot of baked beans and ham, having soaked the beans the night before, and my were they good.  I just had another bowl for lunch, and I have turkey bones in a pan on the stove for turkey noodle soup tonight.  Such a great time of year for these foods. Yum.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Cat in the Bin

Someone has invaded my work-bin for En Provence:

Notice how she has even rearranged the once neatly stacked fabrics.  Good thing I'm not working on those colors yet!  My neutrals are starched and pressed laying flat under the bin.  I put the bin atop them last night thinking ahead that I'd probably wake in the morning finding them all rumpled from the kitties.

Maybe she'll follow me to the bed where I plan on taking my daily nap in I go!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Design Wall Monday - 28 November 2016

My design wall is empty today as I finished Allietare yesterday.  But soon you will see the beginnings of En Provence.  
A portion of Allietare.
While I had Allietare folded laying on the bed, I flipped one corner back (you can see the fold line diagonally from top left to bottom right) and got this different look.  It made me think it could make a nice wall-hanging even if it looks different.
neutral selection
For En Provence, these are just some of the neutrals I can choose from.  Notice that I'm including a few more that are not just solids nor tone-on-tone.  I may have to do another pass through my scrap bins.  

Linking at Patchwork Times.  I'm off to a dental appointment.

Almost forgot...I can link up at Quiltville as well since I have neutrals pulled.

Stash Report Sunday - 27 November 2017 - Week 48

Hooray for me!  I have Allietare finished as a flimsy.  The borders are on and its folded up ready to go into it's hibernation box.  

I could really improve my camera skills, but with an old digital point-and-shoot, that probably won't happen any time soon.  I might be able to get a better shot tomorrow, if I want to open it up again, when I can get daylight shining on it.  It would have to be window light only as it rained here and the ground is wet...and it's really, really windy.
I stood on the stairs and looked down upon the quilt.
I had put the skinny inner border on yesterday.
Looking at it from the end.  Not enough room to get the whole thing.
The wider black border went on just this evening having finished around 6:15 p.m.  I'm happy it's done to this stage, and am really pleased with it.  I think it's a bit wonky in a few places, but not so badly that anyone would care...except maybe a top-notch quilt show, which isn't in its future.
Hanging over the upstairs railing.
My neutrals leaned far more on the white end of the spectrum.  I'm still trying to break away from neutrals being only light solids or tone-on-tones rather than as Bonnie says with the 'ground' of a fabric being anything lighter than a paper bag with any blend of colors/designs on it.  Old ways of thinking die hard, but I'm trying.  I also think I've had enough of large, bed-size quilts for quite awhile.  For this year's mystery, I'm thinking I'll only do about half, or maybe I'll make all the components and just make two smaller quilts from them even if I have to add a few extra to reach whatever dimensions look best with a smaller quilt.

With this being done to flimsy, I can now count fabric OUT of my stash, whooohooo! This will definitely help offset my purchases of the year.

Used This Week: 11.79 yards
Added This Week:  0 yards
Used 2016: 11.79 yards
Net 2016: 8.06 yards increased

Linking at Patchwork Times

Friday, November 25, 2016

Getting Ready

I know a whole LOT of ladies (and probably a few guys too) are already knee deep into the first clue of Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence.  Me? I'm taking my time.  Only minutes ago I made the effort to loosely store away all the genealogy/file stuff that had found a new home atop my cutting mat on my file-cabinet cutting table.  Oh how quickly flat surfaces become overtaken.
All clear.

After spending most of yesterday in the kitchen, my body was pretty achy.  I slept well last night [excepting the nightmarish dream that had the presidential election result switching to the other party - don't shoot me...I wasn't thrilled with either choice, nor did I vote for either...and that's all I'm saying!] and didn't get up until 8:30 this morning. Once I gathered myself from the dream, I got a cup of coffee, read today's Scripture, and then headed to my laptop.  I knew today was the expected release of part 1 of the mystery quilt. 

Along with general dilly-dallying, I've spent the majority of the day browsing through all the comments everyone's been posting on Bonnie's Quiltville's Open Studio Facebook page.  Seeing the fabrics and even alternate color-ways has been a delight.  From reading the comments, there are a lot of newbies, both to quilting and to the mystery quilt.  The excitement is amazing to see.  I love the mystery quilts.  

I remember back in the late 1990s watching Alex Anderson's quilting show on HGTV and having seen Billie Lauder as a guest explaining mystery quilts.  She presented them as "The Case of (whatever)".  I took an all-day class from her once for one called The Case of The Mysterious Voter.  I enjoyed the process, and really liked the resulting's still waiting to be quilted.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Design Wall Monday - 21 November 2016 - Week 47

There's no change on my design wall, or at my sewing machine, from my post on the 19th showing my borders temporarily pinned next to Allietare.  
Border review
I keep thinking I need to just stand up, grab my tape measure and use it, and at least get the inner border's strips sewn together and cut to length...but have I?  NO.  I still need to clear all the genealogy piles of my cutting table!

Linking up at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stash Report Sunday - 20 November 2016 - Week 47

While yesterday was productive in finding a magenta fabric for En Provence, I'm not entirely sure I'm 100% in love with it.  Having visited three different stores out of town, not to mention the Joann's, Hobby Lobby and a fabric-carrying craft store in my town, I found but two that seemed to match the choice given us (and I had a piece of the actual fabric with me so had the true color in hand) and that I liked. I purchased one of the two. I may still change it out...I have one other small piece of a different fabric that's close to the original, so maybe I'll have two different magenta pieces to make up that "constant".  Of the original, I have only the equivalent of about 1/3 yard.
In the above photo are the fabric Bonnie Hunter used, and the one I purchased.  Also shown are her paint chip (center) which she said was too light, and subsequent chips that are much closer, though light from the flash absorbs into the fabric, but bounces off the paint chips so thus the difference in their color.  I'm thinking my fabric is just too intense, compared to all the other fabric colors, it seems it would really pop...maybe it's supposed to. 
Purchased since my last report.
Also purchased yesterday were the lavender in front since I was low on lavenders, and the dotted/striped fabric that I thought would make a cute binding for some other quilt.  The lavender in back was purchased a couple weeks ago.  All of this is only 2.75 yards.

Used This Week: 0 yards
Added This Week:  2.75 yards
Used 2016: 0 yards
Added 2016: 19.85 yards

Linking at Patchwork Times

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Plans

Nick will be headed off to the rural home of his Auto Shop class teacher's home to learn to drive a manual transmission, something he's wanted to do for a long time.  In exchange for the teacher teaching him, he has to work on the man's property for four hours.  He may be 18, with two years driving behind him, but my Mama's heart still frets when he ventures out to unknown-by-me places.

Marty left before dawn to go to Yosemite with his friend for some photography shooting relaxation.  

That gives me the complete day weekend to play :)

Panda will be picking me up (or maybe I'm driving, we haven't decided that yet) around 10:00 so that we can go to another town to look for the elusive magenta-colored fabric for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence.  There are at least two quilt shops in the area we'll be headed, and who knows, we may travel even further.  We'll have lunch out as well. 

I've not sewn the borders onto Allietare yet, but I did pin the chosen fabrics up to one edge so that I could get a picture of how it will look together.
The black fabric is just the folded yardage, not yet cut to correct size.  I think it really adds a lot and pulls out the black star points and small squares.  

Only a few more days until we get our first instructions for En Provence.  I'm glad it's not a race to see who finishes first, because while I'm anxiously anticipating it, I'm thinking I may end up just about as slow about doing it as I was Allietare.  There's a whole lot of genealogy still occupying every flat surface in my Creation Station and I can't get to my cutting mats without moving it.

Friday, November 11, 2016

At the Border

Allietare is ready for borders - as soon as I trim the white rectangles that extend off the sides.  

And on a side note, I was craving a slice of a quality bakery cake after having watched an entire season's marathon baking challenge but there are no such bakeries around that I'm aware of.  I needed sweet and cake and icing, best thing: boxed lemon poppy seed muffins (Krusteaz) with cream cheese frosting flavored with lemon, almond and vanilla extracts.  I enjoyed two of them before they had time to cool off.  Hit the spot!! and craving is gone, but I still have more to enjoy :)
lemon poppy seed muffin with cream cheese icing

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Getting Closer

Flame is happy that I have half of Allietare finished, folded and tossed onto the ironing board.
The other half is pinned and ready to be sewn.  I won't get to it until tonight though. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Buttons & Rips

Yesterday yielded no further progress on Allietare, but late in the evening, Marty came to me to show me a pair of shorts he wears a lot, and he was complaining that the button came off.  What he was really doing, was "asking" if I'd put the button back on.  He said he wouldn't know how!  Here, let me show you, lol.  No, I didn't say that, but sure wanted to.  Marty and I both have added a few (?) pounds this past year, and these shorts seem to be rather snug on him.  Maybe it's time for him to find some with elastic waists.
When I set the button down to take a photo, I realized I'm going to have to find a new button.  It isn't just that the button needs to be sewn back on, the whole center of this button is gone.  Elastic's looking better!
And while I'm having to do mending...something all quilters love (said NO quilter ever!)...I suppose it's time to fix this small tear in his denim pants.  It's probably been a couple years since he handed them to me, but I couldn't find my iron-on denim patches, and finally remembered to buy some just recently.  He has a tendency to get hung up on barb-wired fences when he goes out to the Sierras to shoot photography...this isn't the first pair, and won't be the last.

I'm off to find a replacement button.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Design Wall Monday - 07 November 2016

These weeks are passing far too rapidly!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas will be right behind it.  I told Marty a couple days ago that we should encourage Nick to work on Thanksgiving if the day is offered to him, and then we'll go to that restaurant for dinner...and I won't have to mess with kitchen duties that day.  Not sure that idea took off.

So, on my design wall today is still the same as last week, but I have made progress.  Half, plus the central row, of Allietare is sewn into two-row segments.  Who knew pinning to get the points just right would be such a time-consuming factor.
Here is the corner section after pressing.
Two more seams to sew on this half (above) for this portion to be done.
My chief quilt examiner says "do you like my hat?".  She was seriously inspecting those blocks just moments before.

Housework, and taming clutter is still did it get so far behind, and what do I do with all that needs to go?  Trash, recycle, donate,'s all calling.  My aunt will be here in January, and I'd like to have made substantial headway by then.  

Linking up at Patchwork Times.
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