Sunday, December 31, 2017

4th Project for 2017FALQ4 Finished!

They are done - my two sew together bags are finished!  I think I cut them out two years ago, but they had no specific destination so they wallowed.   This is a big way we get UFOs - we find a new fabric and make a plan but no destination, no deadline.  For this year, however, they were part of my APQResolution and my 2017FALQ4 resolution.  I think these bags are so useful for EPP, hand sewing, cords or makeup. 

As you can see they are very similar.  I just swapped the lining and inner pocket lining for a way to mix up the fabrics.  I think it is nice to have some differences between the bags, even when making multiples.

As I write this, I am thinking of a person who might need at least one of these!

I have one more project, but it won't get finished today.  I am missing a bead I need, and need to make dinner for our quiet New Year'e Eve celebration.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

A hat for a boy who wears red....

My son is a rabid red sox fan, and while it is a stretch to call him a boy, he is my boy!  I started this last year and finished it last night.  He should have it - the weather here is frightful - but it will be early next week before he sees it.  The pattern is “Man Hat” by Ashley Haven, available on Ravelry.

I love the way this is so cozy and can be turned up if a little oversized or gets stretchy.  For years, he had a red sox hat, but that went missing.  I made two for his father, similar, but in blue.  Can't wait to see him in it!

Linking up to:  Friday Foto Fun and Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

5 Best posts of 2017

Cheryl Brickey  of Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Linky Party!  This is better than any New Years Eve Party and is a great way to look back over 2017.

I can tell you that my blogging picked up this year - I had 41 posts for 2017 - up from 16 in 2016.  My total visits were up to 11,136 visitors form all over the world - United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Portugal, Ireland, Germany and Ukraine!

I decided to highlight my most popular posts this year.  I included a picture and a link back to the posts.  I am so pleased at the push the 2017 New Bloggers Quilt Group gave me and the guidance of our wonderful leaders - it really has made a difference in my blogging presence.  Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl has led this the past few years, and I feel so fortunate to have her guidance this past year, as it was her last as a leader. 

Please feel free to visit or revisit any of the posts - the links and counts of visits are next to the picture from the blog entry.

Finish It Up Friday & FreeFallQAL #4                                      
423 visits

Finish It Up Friday
324 visits

2017 New Quilt Bloggers Introduction
165 visits

  A Finished Top #FreeFallQAL 
  142 visits

I learned a lot, and met quite a few folks I now call friends.  Many thanks for following along and visiting and commenting.  I love meeting my internet friends!

Linking up to:  The Best of 2017 Linky Party at Meadow Mist Designs

Friday, December 22, 2017

Looking forward and backward - Goals for 2018

It's that time of year to look at what you have accomplished in 2017 and what I'd like to accomplish in 2018.

First, what I thought I would do in 2017

Shorter Term/Actionable Goals

√ Join the #APQResolution2017 
√ Plan one quilt a every 3 months with EQ7 - using up 4 stash fabric piles 
(baby alphabet quilt, purple nine patch, typewriter quilt and north star pattern)
Post weekly on my blog - 40 times and a few more entries to go
Post one tutorial in even months - 2 out of 6 published
Attend on major quilt show - booked MQX in April 2018
Work with 1-2 patterns to produce or submit in the fall - North Star "I Wish You a Merry QAL"
Quilt the Antique Grandmother Flower Garden - not done

To be fair you don't see selling and moving your house on my goals.  We decided to do it and I lost quite a few months (3 almost) in doing anything remotely quilt related.  So, all in all I think I did just fine.  

Big Picture Goals
√ Adventures with the new retiree - my husband (Cali, MN, moved, Bermuda)
√ Let go of quilt/craft tools I am not using - moving helped here
√ Learn some new skills in social media/publishing
√ Get to some of the household organizing projects  - again moving helped

Now, to my goals for 2018

Short Term Goals

#APQ UFO Resolution 2018 - join
Plan a few fun quilts - TBD - maybe 3 
Make a few benefit quilts
Write one pattern with North Star Block
Write one pattern with block from Fall QAL
Learn more about EQ8

Big Picture Goals
More adventures with my husband
Move to more professional blog/hosting site including patterns, video, and tutorials along or is it al for fun?

I have a big consulting project for Jan/Feb so I will be a little slower these months (the firm I do some work for is moving and I am one of the point people).  Also, I am waiting for news on whether there will be a monthly commitment - it will help with some short term goals but be hectic in Feb/Mar on the heels of the move.   (I know - another move!!)

I'm using the Arc planner from Staples.  It is easier for me to carry what I want with me, since we split our time between two places and one requires more compact packing as we don't always bring the car.  I love the Quilter's Planner, but not being in one place all the time made it hard to have such a big planner.

So, I think I will let it go as this for now!

Linking up with the 2018 Planning Party.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Friday quilting

I did a little quilting this week.  I finished a pillow of scraps for an animal shelter.  This was a project I heard about theough The Inquiring Quilter and started the bag.   I love that it really is useless pieces of batting, fabric, etc, and some kitty will love it.  I have a bag of extra towels to go with it, probably not until after the first of the year, but it is done!

I am working on two sew together bags.  I follow the instructions on The Quilt Barn's Quilt Along; they are so much better than the original pattern.  

Don't you love these sweet fabrics.  I believe they are Heather Ross and have the Owl and the Pussycat, the moon and the flowers.   I bought them awhile ago and am so pleased at how they look.  I could almost finish today, but I am short a zipper pull for my long zipper - for bags I have been using this spool of Make a Zipper by Sullivan's.

Here they are awaiting the final zipper and binding!

Linking up to:  Friday Foto Fun

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mariner's Compass, an oldie but goodie

We recently hung this Mariner's Compass in my husband's study.  I made the quilt with him in mind.  The fabric was bought on a trip to Bermuda, maybe spring of 2005.  I always wanted him to hang it somewhere, but not until the new apartment did that wish get fulfilled.   I was able to take a class with with Judy Matheison, the master of the mariner's compass block,  in November 2005.

The quilting follows along the lines of the compass.  In the border, I used a stencil with an egg and dart pattern - maybe not this exact one and a frond in the corners of the block.  This is early in my machine quilting days but it certainly was enough to make it work, and holds the quilt together nicely.  I loved the fabric on the back and in fact, and had a friend get some in San Francisco on one of her trips.

The label was done for  show, probably Rising Star in the fall of 2006.   I can't quite figure out the title, as I would have thought it might have to do with latitude and longitude but it doesn't.  I looked up the entry in the show, and that had nothing to indicate what it meant. [Addendum:  I figured it out - To get to Bermuda from Boston it is 770 Miles SE]

I do love the quilt and am pleased to show you an old but favorite block/quilt. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Organized!!! - Another Finish for the 4th Quarter!

This was my closet before last week.  I had an organizer (Erin Bonner of Erin Does) come and help me finish getting things into place.   I was feeling like I would never get it done, and contacted Jenn at Find Your Floor but wanted someone sooner.  She referred me to Erin and we are on a roll.  The whole thing was  overwhelming me and I thought this would be worthwhile. I am so pleased with the progress!!  If your looking for someone in the Boston area (Cambridge/Somerville/Medford/etc) these women are great. This was a part of my 2017Q4FAL, which you can see here.

First up is my nicely organized bookshelf.  Mostly quilting books on the bottom 2 shelves, some memorabilia on the next two, and the top has miscellaneous folders, and a few Christmas things that never made it into the Christmas box last year.  On the bottom left corner you can see the door into the closet, and my knitting basket with current projects.

Next up you will see a few pictures of the closet.  All of the interior closet pictures are a little distorted, as they were shot in pano mode. First up in the closet is the top shelf.  Hoops for hand quilting, my Bernina travel bag with bed risers ready for a retreat, some miscellaneous fabric, some completed quilts/pillows, waiting for a home, and my mac box.

This next shelf has strips in the black boxes, ribbons and wrapping paper in the next box, some more memorabilia, which is next up for sorting, and some knitting and other projects on the far right.

 This grouping below has knitting needles, sewing tools in the black drawers, projects in the the next two plastic bins and a nearly finished project in the pink bag, and then some quilting stencils and bags in the corner (oh and a yarn swift, too).

This last part of the closet is FUN!  it is a narrow section, but holds a lot of things:  on the the bottom is a set of draweres with  more tools, some teaching projects and then some scraps!

Just so you don't think there isn't any fabric, here are a few shots of the cabinets and their contents in my study.  One cabinet has fabric and a file drawer with patterns, rulers, etc.  The file drawer is still a work in progress.

These next two are cabinets nearer my desk and have a variety of things in them:  notecards, ironing essentials, project boxes, then some bags of projects, precuts and finally some batting and fabric collections waiting for a project.

While a couple of these things keep getting moved around I feel like I am really nearly there!!  Hallelujah.  I will show you the desk and sewing area, once the walls are a little more dressed, but I am thrilled that I can now work and find things so easily and there really is a place for everything.  Another bonus - many projects are identified and the list keeps getting smaller...nothing new until I get through a few of the longstanding ufos!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Block 11 in the I Wish You A Merry QAL

I am so excited!


It's time for Block 11 in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-a-Long! I named it simply North Star and I am so pleased to have designed this block.  I was thinking of many more complicated versions, at first, but settled on one that I hope is accessible to quilters of all skill levels. 

I love stars and looking at them at night.  I spend part of my time in Maine and it is amazing the number of stars in the sky on a clear night.  Now, I am not so sure I could have them direct me anywhere, I am much happier using an app with GPS to get me there.

Please enjoy making this star!  I am so looking forward to seeing your interpretations of my design.  I am truly humbled by the amount of people who are working so hard on all these blocks and have followed along for so many weeks on this journey.  You are almost there!!!!

Block 11:  North Star

Instructions for North Star

Without further dithering, here are the instructions.  There are two versions, one for paper piecing and one for using a Tri-Recs™ Ruler.

Please download before printing.  
Also be sure you DO NOT HAVE print to fit checked.  

If you need to purchase a ruler, you can find them at Craftsy (and other places).

Remember, that each of the following bloggers are my hosts and specific hints that will help you and also many fun and different versions of the same block.  It is so gratifying to see the hard work each of these quilters has put into the I Wish You A Merry QAL!  Please visit and see their tips.

Abbie at Sparkle On
Becca at Pretty Piney
Diane at Cwilt
Vanda at Quilt in Piece


There are giveaways for this block too!  Hard to believe that the prizes just keep on coming.

First:  A binding baby, donated by Shari at Doohikey Designs.  Aren't they just the cutest things!

Second:  Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter, one of my friends from the 2017 NewQuiltBloggers group, where we met and conceived this Block Party,  has donated a pdf pattern of your choice.  Jennifer is so supportive of other bloggers; it has been really fun to get to know her in the blogsphere.

How do I enter the Giveway?  

There are three ways to enter, BUT, whichever one you choose must be done by December 4, 2017 at midnight EST.   You do not have to finish every block to enter this giveaway - that's the good news - but you do have to finish the one to be eligible for these prizes and you must upload a picture.

Please upload a photo of your finished block to either:
  1. my Linky Party at An InLinkz Link-up  OR
  2. the Facebook Group I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long   OR
  3. Instagram using #iwishyouamerryqal

Don't forget the grand prize:

There is a fabulous grand prize package (thread, fabric, batting, patterns and more), and if you have been working along, or decide to play catch-up you can win!  We encourage you to finish the top.

You are eligible to win the grand prize if you:
1)  finish your quilt top including all 12 blocks (it does not have to be quilted)
2)  post a picture of your finished quilt.
3)  do both of these thing by 11:59 PM EST January 15, 2018.  

Thank you for joining us in this journey,

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Finish #2 for the quarter, Free Fall QAL

It was a terrific feeling to finish this quilt.  I wanted it ready for our quilt show, in the middle of October and it was.  It was part of my goals for this quarter for the 2017FALQ4; you can see them all here.  We had a family death and so I was unable to be at the show, but was out of the country.  In my hurry to get things done and delivered to friends, I forgot to take pictures of this quilt.  As I have a quilt made of these fabrics on my bed, I felt as though this deserved to be in someone's home that loved it.  It found a buyer a the show - I was thrilled.

The quilting was pretty intense for me.  It was all straight line, and I used a darker thread in the green leaf and a light thread in the the background.  I loved the effect and was pleased that I stuck with it. 

Here's the way we label our quilts at the show  We get to write a little description to tell people about the quilt.  Of course we could go on forever, but we are limited to 50 words or so.

This pictures shows my label.  I had this fantastic aboriginal print, that was just lovely for the background.  I often do my labels the same way, framing them, and you can see more about that here.

Thanks to my quilting friend, Sandra at MMM! Quilts for designing a great quilt and hosting a fun QAL.  

Here's how the end of the year list is looking:

2017FAL4Q List:  3 to go!!!!
1. Free Fall Quilt Along 
2.  Alphabet Quilt
3.  Sew Together bags
4.  Petal Play Loon 
5.  Organized sewing room

All people quilt UFOs   (so 7 out of 12 are done!!)
1.  Grey batik flying geese
2.  Petal Play Loon
3.  Raw Edge Tree Runner
4.  Row by Row #3 (is this for real, one more??)
5.  Sew Together Bags

Here's hoping for a stellar finish - I think the Sew Together Bags will be done as well.  An organizer is coming Tuesday to help with #5 the Sewing room,  as the Raw Edge Tree Runner and the others just depend if I get any momentum.  I really didn't expect the move to last so long or the disruptions to be so pervasive but the are!