Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Working the Goals

I started January with a small list of goals, and we are partway through April.  I kind of feel like I am getting somewhere.   

I fiinished my Jewel box quilt, well it is at least a flimsy, as well as the Lazy Sunday Mystery which I have been working on quilting.  One of my other goals was to join a quilt guild.  That was a tough one.  First I decided I would attend a meeting to see if I was comfortable.  Last Thursday I attended my first meeting with the Monroe County Quilt Guild.  I attended as a guest. They were a wonderful group of ladies and made me feel so welcome and at ease almost immediately.  So I guess I will be joining the group.  I can't wait looking at their program they have sew many fun and wonderful things going on.  Another goal almost completed.

Remember I told you in yesterday's post that we had snow in the forecast?  We beat the record with 94.8 inches   It snowed off and on all day today, and the temperature was down right frigid.  We finally got to 36 degrees, but with the wind it was more like 28 Degrees F.  DH had to shovel the deck which totally bummed him out. 
Those are my blueberries under the buckets which I am trying to keep them from freezing. 

I sewed my little heart out today and finished my Quilty Barn quilt to a flimsy.
This will be a wall hanging when I am done.  I need to work on my signature block which is a tractor.  The tractor is made, but I am going to embroider my name, and all the other information on that block.

And I am still pressing and cutting scraps.
My bins are getting full.
I had to change out my 1 inch strip bin to a bigger bin, and my smallest square bin to a bigger box. 
Yes I know it does not really look like it but I have made a dent in these really.  My comic book boards came today also.  I have been reading different blogs about fabric folding.  Yardage, fat quarters, fat eighths.  I am sooo ready to get things kind of under control 

Question:  When you organize your stash do you do it by color, or by fabric line?  I don't have the space to do it like I see some people that their strips and squares are sorted by size and color.  But the larger pieces I can sort by color groups. 

I am excited about how far I have gotten on this project.  I have some very scrappy quilts I have in mind to make when I am done. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Neighbor Watching

It has been a busy couple of days.  We had beautiful weather, and I worked both Sunday and Monday.  Luckily I got home pretty early both days, but Sunday I was pretty much a lump.  Today was a whole different story though.

I rearranged my sewing area in the living room.  We had to rewire the machine last week because the cord finally cracked.  I also wanted a bit more light, and I wanted to be able to plug in my stereo to listen to my Kindle.  I found a surge strip, plugged the sewing machine, stereo, and light in.  Then I discovered that my stereo did not have an auxiliary plug which kind of put a stop to my Kindle listening.  But then I remembered I had an old alarm clock upstairs which can play an I pod and has an auxiliary jack, which means that I can plug in my Kindle.  Sweet! 

I worked on the barn sashing, eleven down I am going to do 5 more for a total of 16 which would be 4 X 4.  I have 3 barns that I do not like how they look with the rest of the blocks, those will be turned into a table runner or maybe some throw pillows.

Between sashing barns I would cut scraps,  but then I got distracted.

The neighbor had a big truck with a flat bed trailer arrive, it was interesting watching it try to back into the driveway.  Yep that did not go well.  I wish I had got more pictures, because they had to bring a flat bed tow truck in, load a tractor onto the flat bed tow truck, back the tow truck up to the big flat bed truck and drive the tractor on.  During this whole process it poured, the wind picked up and it was just miserable outside.  I will say it was definitely entertaining, but also kind of sad watching the equipment leave since the widow is selling off all the farm implements.  

I did put together one block for my Drunkard's path.  I wanted to calculate how many blocks I would have to make, and how large the blocks would turn out.  I think I have the math figured out.

I also found some fabrics to make propeller blocks for the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt.  I have enough cut to make 2 more blocks, but also found some fabrics to possibly cut out the rest of the blocks for that section.
I told you here that I purchased and planted 3 more blueberry plants to go with the one remaining the DH did not mow down last year.  Guess what?  They are projecting snow 1-2 inches tomorrow morning and cold.  So I put buckets over them to hopefully keep them from freezing their delicate leaves. 
Michigan may just break their record which is from the 1890's and it would mean that we had over 93 inches in the year.  Not too sure if it is a record that we should want to break especially since it is April.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Watching the Grass Grow

Wow we have had a few days of warmer temperatures and it has been wonderful.  They say April showers bring May flowers, but DH and have not been really watching the grass grow. 

Early this morning we delivered a newer side by side refrigerator that was going to the dump at DH work.  It is in better condition than the original one we gave her when she acquired her house.  Which meant that one returned to the house once more. 

There are plants which are pushing up through the dirt.
Yep those are dead leave....where they came from I have no idea since I had the beds all raked and cleaned out last fall before all of the snow.

My sticks with leaves are getting bigger.

These are boxwood bushes that I bought 3 years ago.  They arrived and DH called them sticks with leaves.  10 plants for $15, yep they were sticks with leaves.  They have grown quite a bit even over the winter.  Just a few more years and we will have a nice hedge in front of the house.

My roses seem to have survived the winter.

I see green and yes I know they need to be pruned.  Again with the leaves!  This is the undefined flower bed. 

The grass is starting to turn green, and

 the burn pile is growing, and we kept loading my little sad wagon with debris and driving it out to the burn pile for a couple of hours. 

A clump of daffodils are starting to bloom.  Look I was photo bombed by more leaves!
The berry patch has been cleaned out.
The canes need to be trimmed and I need to string the wire and get them tied up to get them more contained.  I have raspberries and blackberries. 

The bed where the strawberries were cleaned out best I could because it is quite damp still so I could not get to the back
Lots of runners and more freakin leaves!

The lone blueberry plant got 3 friends since DH ran over his mate last year with a lawnmower.  I added some sand to the bed.  Maybe I will get blueberries one day.
You can see their little green leaves barely.
The chicken house was finally cleaned out, going to need a good scrubbing with bleach before we do anything else.  It was delivered from a friend's house it had been his dog house and run for years.  The dog passed away and so it was not needed anymore and it found its way down the road to our house.  The problem is it was delivered full of dirt, straw and other debris.  YUCK!

Explain why the weeds turn green and start growing faster than everything else and more stinkin' leaves!

I sewed on my quilter for a while today, then hit the scrap pile.

This pile really is getting smaller, and the bins are starting to fill up.

I have 1 inch strings which are escaping their box so I will have to move to a larger box. 

I also got my stash enhancement for the backing for my barn quilt.  I had to have some Oink a Doodle Moo which I think is just too cute. 
Cows, chickens, pigs, donkeys, barns, silos, and tractors.  Definitely cuteness overload. 

How was your Saturday?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh Enough!

After showing the horrendous mess I made while stash shopping the other day I realized that I had also spread the mess into the stairway, the dining room, the family room (in 3 different spots no less) and onto the sun porch.

I decided it was time to get control of these scraps.  I swear that they multiply overnight in the dark!

I had this pile on the dining room table.
This pile on my cutting table in my sewing room.
This pile
and this pile on the floor.
And this pile and
This pile on my ironing board.

Where to start?
Load up a book on my Kindle
Clean up the sewing machine table
By pushing the machine back and layout my boxes and bins
2 1/2 and 2 inch strips
1 1/2 inch strips, 2 1/2 inch squares, 5 inch squares, 2 inch squares, 1 1/2 inch, 1 inch squares and strips, selvedges.

Then clean up the patterns and put them away.
Put up my blocks for quilts I am working on.
And start pressing and cutting.  I made a teeny tiny dent.  

I think I may need to dedicate a couple of hours a day to scrap management.  Also i am going to attempt the fabric folding so I have a better grasp of what is in my stash.  I ordered some comic book boards, I have this neat wall cabinet to refinish for some fabric storage which should work nicely too.  I have a plan, now to implement.

Shopping the Stash

I love to use scraps.  I have only made a couple of quilts with a single line of fabric, most of the time I love to put stuff together.  For a long time I would only buy fat quarters, not really committing to a single line.  I have started to buy at least 1 yard cuts now since a lot of times I purchase fabric online.

The downside is there are times when I run out of a fabric I am using such as with my Barns.  I did purchase some fabrics which I thought would look cute with the barns for sashing, but I wanted to add some fabrics so I started digging!

Yikes this scrap box escaped its containment!

There is also another box above it smaller, but just as out of control.
I think I may need to work on cutting up some of these scraps into the scrap system of strips and squares.  I realized many of this huge box of scraps-  yes that is an apple box are from clothes that I made my girls years ago and they are all mid twenties or older.

Up in the left hand corner you can see a pile of green and teal fabrics that I pulled off the shelf and neglected to return while shopping my stash too. I really need to get some organization going, maybe then my room would not look like a tornado went through it.

But I found a big enough scrap to use for a barn sashing.

I was looking for the fun cherry print which I is on the top sashing of the block.  I love that print and I purchased it years ago and made my youngest daughter tank tops from it which were soooo cute.The blue gingham with embroidered dragonflies was also made into the same style tank.  It was fun shopping my stash and there are are some things I need to add to it.  I don't have much in blue, purple or red, which is funny because red is my favorite color, and I need to get larger cuts of fabric for backings when I see something on sale so I am not searching when I want to finish something up.

 Recently I had a new visitor to my blog- Sew You Quilt 2 and she hosts a Relaxing Robin (you can get the details from the link).  Take a UFO or orphan block and build up around it until you have a table topper, or medallion quilt.  I have a few Orphans around my house so I chose one and am considering the possibilities. 
I think this will be sew fun.  No pressure you are not sending your blocks anywhere it will clean up those poor orphan blocks who languish in your projects without a place to be.

Looking at this block it is the one that I taught my mother last year you can see it here on this post.  But also see that fabric with the little blue flowers?  I made a dress for my oldest daughter who is now 30 to go under a little teal corduroy jumper when she was in kindergarten!  

OK Enough of the blast from the past.  My camera died and I have no idea where the cord is anymore, and it needs new batteries, then my batteries in my mouse died (I love my mouse) so I have been trying to create this post through my phone and I definitely need to go to the store. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Aimless April

I felt rather aimless at the beginning of this month when it came down to making some goals.  Even though I am kind of aimless I have done some things. 

I did get all 8 of my Farmer's Wife Blocks completed.
I have 74 blocks finished.  When you consider there are only 111,  I can't believe that I am almost there.

I finished my Aurifil Block of the month for April.  It is the bear paw in the upper left hand corner of the picture.
Still trying to stick with the red and white theme.  This block was cool because you did a little running stitch all around the bear paw. Kind of trying to figure out if I am lovin' the striped fabric or not. 

Finally I got the Hidden Star block done for the QAL from the Batik group I belong to on My Quilt Place.
The background fabric I chose has pinks, oranges and yellows which I think will be fun because I am going to use Green, Orange, and Yellow for the blocks.  I have some connector blocks I may work on too. 

I am getting my flying geese sewn together pretty quickly using as a leader and ender project.  I may need to consider another one soon.
 I have also been working on my sashing for my barns- it is trudging along I just can't seem to find a groove.
I did pick up a project and start working on it again.  My Hexie flowers.

I removed the 2nd round of hexies because the fabric I had chosen when I cut and sewed originally was fraying horrendously, which I did not realize until I had several hexies sewn and attached.   I have been working on my hexies which is kind of relaxing.

I also started using a bench and an old cutting mat to cut in the evening while watching TV with DH.  I have been cutting these parts.  The little bench cutting board has come in quite handy.  During the day I will cut a few strips so that I can work on cutting the parts for a block, or quilt. 

What do you do when you feel the doldrums hit?