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Sunday, March 31, 2013

More March-A-Long

One more report for Darla's March A Long, over at Scientific Quilter.  Her challenge is to do something quilty for at least 15 minutes a day throughout the month of March.  Here's what I worked on this week.

I started quilting Sand and Sea Glass.

Still quilting (I'm really slow).

I pulled out this quilt.

I started this, ohhh, about 6 or 7 years ago.  The pattern is called Aqua Stars.  I had it on my Finish-A-Long list for most of last year, and didn't do any more than take this photo.  But, it is time to get this DONE!  It has a piano key border, and I started sewing that together.

Sewed more piano keys.

Switched it up today - back to quilting Sand and Sea Glass.

I finished the Aqua Stars top!  Yay!  The border was a bit of a challenge.  I had to fudge a bit to make sure the piano keys fit evenly.  But, it worked out.  No waving borders!

I thought I'd check out Craftsy today, and lo and behold - they had the April BOM block up already.  So, I had no choice but to work on that block.  This one was more challenging, with templates and curved piecing.    I have done both before, so it didn't scare me.  And Laura had some very good tips.  Here is the block:

I'm linking up with Scientific Quilter for the March A Long.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sew Sunday / March A Long Report

I had plans for my week off.  Oh, I had big plans.  Now, it's the last day of said week, and I did not accomplish anywhere near what I wanted to accomplish.

I listen to Pam's "Hip to Be a Square" Podcast regularly, and follow her blog.  Take a look at her blog sometime.  That woman is amazingly fast when it comes to completing quilts.  Suffice it to say, she completed more this week than I did - and she was working full time, whereas I was off!

But, I'm not complaining, really I'm not.  I enjoy taking my time, and enjoying the process.  It's not a race.

So, here is my weekly March A Long progress report.

I thought I had finished up the hourglass units.  Then, I put them in rows, and found out (surprise!) that 208 units don't make a good rectangle.  Turns out I needed 32 more.

Made 32 more hourglass units.

Sewed the hourglass units together.  Here they all are.

I put them together totally randomly.  That was a bit of a gamble for me - usually, I plan out the placeement of even my scrappiest quilts.  But this is going on the back, so I went for it.  The lights and darks aren't evenly distributed, but it doesn't look bad.  This piece is about 80 inches by 30 inches - the size of a small quilt all by itself!

Sewed the rest of the backing together and sandwiched it.

I always have to procrastinate at this point, because I usually have no idea how I am going to quilt the quilt, and I'm terrified of mucking it up.  So, Friday was the day I did inventory of my sewing room.

Still procrastinating - I did the March Craftsy BOM Block.

This one is pretty busy!  It was fun to make, and Laura Nownes gave a really good lesson on drafting HST's and QST's in the video part of the lesson.

And, I finally started quilting the Sand and Sea Glass quilt!  Yay!

That's my report, Scientific Quilter, Sir!  And I'm linking up with Darla, the Scientific Quilter for March A Long.

And now, for Sew Sunday.  I've got my housework and grocery shopping done, so I can spend a couple hours in the sewing room.  And, now that I've made the big leap to start quilting Sand and Sea Glass, it should be much easier to continue.  So, that is my plan for this afternoon.

And I'm linking up with Mary at Fairly Merry and Sew Sunday.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Doing the Count

Mr CQT retired about a year ago, and quickly realized that he needs to come up with projects to keep himself busy.  In the warmer weather, he has no shortage of jobs - with yard work, woodwork, carpentry projects, and mechanical things that he is restoring.  But, in the winter, it takes a little more imagination.  (And, in case you are wondering - yes, it is still winter here, and probably will be for a few weeks more.)

So, he came up with the idea that he will inventory the contents of the house.  ALL of the contents of the house.  He's making a list and taking pictures of the big stuff - and he plans on putting it all on a flash drive in our safety deposit box.  Then, if the house burns down, we'll have a list for insurance purposes.

It's actually a great idea, and as an added bonus, we have realized that we have a lot of "stuff" we don't need.  Why, for instance, do I have 13 partial containers of bathroom cleaner in the upstairs closet?  And why are we keeping all of those old, old bank and credit card statements.  This project is motivating us to do some purging and re-organizing!

Today, I went through my sewing room and listed the contents.  When I was done, Mr. CQT asked me if I found anything that I had forgotten that I had.  Thankfully, no - although I did have duplicates of two items.

I  pulled out and added up all of the fabric - the larger pieces added up to 65 metres.  Actually, that wasn't as much as I thought.  When you think about it - a bed quilt will take about 10 metres to make, so that's only about 6 or 7 quilts' worth.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Then, I added up my fat quarters.  I belonged, for awhile, to the Bargain Lovers  club at Sew Sisters.  Every month, they sent 10 coordinating fat quarters.  I stayed in it for far too long, because I loved  receiving and fondling the fabric every month!

So, how many fat quarters do I have?  198!  That's a lot of fat quarters.  Time to stop buying them for awhile, me thinks.

Have you ever added up all the fabric in your stash?  How does it compare to me?  Am I ready for an episode of Hoarders?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March-A-Long Progress

Darla, over at the Scientific Quilter, is hosting a March-a-long for the month of March.  The challenge is to spend at least 15 minutes a day on a quilting related activity.  The nice thing is that she's not insisting that it be productive - she includes shopping, reading magazines, etc.  That's my kind of challenge

I didn't report last week, as I was away.  We didn't get back until late Wednesday night, so this week will start on Thursday.  And, sorry folks, it's not all that exciting.

Thursday:  Washed all of the fabric that I bought on vacation.

Friday:  Ironed all of the fabric that I bought on vacation.  (The ironing is the easy part.  The hard part is finding a place to store it!  My sewing room is getting pretty stuffed!)

Saturday:  I thought this would be a good day to get a start on quilting the Sand and Sea Glass quilt.

 I lined up my backing fabric to see what would be the best way to piece it, and WHAT!!! There isn't enough!  Then I remembered.  I was going to use the 208 leftover hourglass units on the back.  So, I started squaring up the hourglass units.

Sunday:  I continued on squaring up the hourglass units.  Man, there are a lot of them!

I've completed about half - so back to the sewing room I go, to finish off the rest.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Back From Vacation

Boy you get some funny looks when people ask what you did in Las Vegas, and you answer, "Well, I went on a Quilt Shop Tour".

But, that's one of the things I did!  Susan runs Quilt Tours of Las Vegas.  In my case, she picked up me, and two other quilters (Carol Ann from Michigan, and Diane from Ontario) in her van, and took us all over town!   We started out at The Christmas Goose.  Before arriving at each store, Susan gave a brief overview of the type of store, what kind of fabric they sell and whether or not they have any sales happening.  She explained that the Christmas Goose really has nothing to do with Christmas or with geese.  Just great fabric!

Then we went to Fabric Boutique.  All of the stores, by the way, gave us a discount because we were on the tour.  After that, it was time for lunch.  You might think it would be awkward, having lunch with four ladies you had only just met, but it was not.  We all got along like old friends.

After lunch, we headed to Boulder City, to Fiddlesticks Quilts.  This is a cute little store, in an old theatre.  After this, we headed back to Vegas to finish off the tour at Quiltique, which was definitely the biggest and carried the most modern fabric.

What a great way to shop!  I didn't have to worry about how to get to the shops, and we spent about 45 minutes in each - lots of time to browse and carefully make our selections.  And, of course, it was great company!

So, I did make a few tons of purchases.

 First, I found this pattern  - Tulip Star by Jackie Robinson of Jackie's Animas Quilts.  It was sitting beside this gorgeous floral print.  Even though I  have SO many projects to complete, I decided to go for this one too.  The greens and reds are for this project as well - I still have to get some cream, and perhaps yellow.

Next, I saw the print with the birds on wires that I just loved.  I bought a yard, just because.  In another shop, I found this pattern  - The Abigail Bag, by Serendipity Studio, and thought the fabric would be great for either the inside or the outside - I haven't decided.  The green here will be the "other" side.

Or maybe I'll use this red.  It matches the bird on a wire fabric too.  It depends how adventurous I feel when I start sewing this bag.   (I'll probably go with the green.)

And a few other odds and sods.


All in all, a great day!  If you're ever in Las Vegas, I highly recommend the tour.

Monday, March 04, 2013

February Fade Out

But now I'm marching into March!

I did really well with the Drop and Give Me Twenty challenge - for the first half of the month.  I finished the Freebie Fifteen (Sand and Sea Glass) top.

I bought new fabric for the backing, that is perfect!  But, I haven't started quilting it yet.

I made this cute ironing board cover.

This ultra cute potholder!

And my February blocks for the Craftsy BOM

That is WAYYY more productive than my usual month!

So, now it's March, and Darla, at Scientific Quilter is hosting her annual (well, she did it last year, and she's doing it again so that makes it annual, right?) March A Long.  Her challenge is to do something quilt related for at least 15 minutes a day.  But, she's not intimidating about it - if all you do is think about quilting, that's good too.  If you're interested, head on over to Darla's and leave a comment.

And, so far this month, I've finished another pot holder.   Don't ask me why.  I don't NEED a new potholder.  But, the cupcake one was fun, and I had a little thermore batting left, so decided to whip this one up.
I straight line quilted it with a decorative stitch on my machine.  I've never tried that before, but it turned out pretty well, I think.

We're off on a little vacation for a week, so my March A Long activities will consist of magazine reading, podcast listening and shopping!  See you in about 8 days!