Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quarter Four, 2013...FAL results!

So, it was a pretty sweet quarter.  I didn't get it all done.  Frankly, it would have been insane to expect me to do so.  My list had 32 items on it.  Most of them were quilts.  Add to that pattern testing for Lynne, having to add in a couple of baby quilts for gifts and a quilt for my Aunt that I forgot I was supposed to make.  Oops.  Oh, and I started some knitting again.

Here's my final progress report:

Bess Top
1.  Bess Top--Done!
It needs to get into my regular wardrobe rotation.  The weather went from super hot to really cold.  I need to find a non-hoody to wear for warmth.  I look pretty raggedy lately.  I love the Bess tops.  Going to have to make some new ones in the spring.

Divided Basket
2.  Divided Basket for me--Done!
Oh my.  How did I ever live without one of these?!  It now holds all my sewing supply items.  My husband will attest there is a lot less frantic hunting for scissors, etc.  Not that I didn't somehow manage to lose a Hera marker somewhere in the house.  Ahem.

Penny Sampler done!
3.  Penny Sampler--Done!
I even made my Dec 15 deadline for this one.  It's hand quilted.  (I still don't know how to FMQ at any level worthy of a quilt that took this long to piece.)  I used some of my Salt Water stash on this one.  (That and Prince Charming are still two of my all time favorite lines.)  It still needs to be washed, but it hasn't gotten its rotation time into the laundry cycle.  I love this one so much.  On top of that, I learned so much in the process.  I'm a devotee to Rachel's classes.  I've still got one project from that class that will be on 2014 list to make.

Sisters 10
4.  Sisters 10 BOM--Done!
For the longest time, I denied my love of pink and chartreuse.  Apparently it keeps popping up even when I reject it.  I had a really awesome time with the Generation X BOM.

Wellspring quilt
5.  Wellspring quilt--Done!
This one helped fulfill my desire to make a St. Louis 16 patch and to make a quilt for Wellspring, an organization that helps young women taken out of the sex trade.

Postage #1
6.  Postage Stamp #1--Done!
I sent this one along with the Heal Circle quilt to be delivered to Hospice.  Loved seeing the pictures of this one being delivered.

Postage #2
7.  Postage Stamp #2--Done!
This one got sent to Hospice as well.  I think I reached my goal for quilts for others this year.  Going to have to set new goals for 2014.

Wonky Star quilt
8.  Wonky Star--Done and gifted to Michael's new baby!
I love wonky stars.  I used up some dear Stella given to me back in 2012 at Sewing Summit.  It made a great boy quilt.

9.  Hexy MF--hrm..Let's call this one a work in progress still.  I got the top all sewn up.  I have the fabric for the back but haven't pieced it yet.  Also, still need a long-armer for this one.  Have a couple of possibilities but now have to consult my budget.  This one is rolling over to 2014.

space quilt
10.  Space quilt--Done and gifted to Max!
This one was a collaboration.  I inherited the rocket block from Katy.  I knew it was going to be made into some gift item for my BFF's baby, but I wasn't sure what or how.  I settled on an more improv-ed baby quilt and had a fun time making it.  Then I wasn't sure how to quilt it, given my crapacious FMQ.  Then I loved the quilting and went to wash it.  Much drama ensued.   I finally got the bleeding on navy down enough that I think no one but me will see it.  Up side, multiple washing made it extra soft and lovey.  Mama loved it.

11.  Retro Rubies--Stalled.
I just ran out of time.  I'm thinking this will morph into a baby quilt because I think some of my Malka got used up on another project.  Moving this one to 2014.

12.  Converging corners quilt--Stalled.
Yeah.  This one will be at the biggest a baby quilt.  I kind of realized I'm not a huge fan on this one.  Not sure why.  I think it will be really cute baby quilt.  It's just not singing to me right now.  I'll move it to 2014.  If progress isn't made by mid year, it's getting given away for someone else to work on.

NY Beauty Bag
13.  NY Beauty Orphan--Done!
I made this one into a gift bag.  It was a smaller block.  My dad always gets given DVDs by my brother and me.  I used this one for wrapping.

14.  Churn Dash Bag--POSSIBLE FINISH
I have the pieces cut out.  Trying to finish this one before 2014.

Pixie Churn Dash
15.  Churn Dash Quilt--Done!
I originally thought I was gifting this one to a colleague, but she's a tad more traditional than this one ended up being.  Her daughter got a pink quilt instead.

Meridian #1
16.  Meridian #1--Done!
This is going to be one of my go to travel sweaters and definitely will be making the rounds in my winter classroom rotation.

17.  Meridian #2--POSSIBLE FINISH
I need to work on matching stripes.  In the abstract, I get it, but my efforts don't seem to work out when I try to do it.  Again, loving the additions into my wardrobe.

18.  Hexy Diamond quilt--IN PROGRESS.  This is my go to hand work project right now.  I have to decide how big it's going to be.  I'm working through a stack of charms that doesn't seem to be getting any smaller.

19.  Marcelle Medallion--Stalled.  I only got as far as the triangles and stalled out.  Not sure why.  I love my choices.  I have a ton of stash pulled.  Definitely moving this one to the toppish part of the stack for 2014.

Improv Malka front
20.  Improv Malka--Done!
I definitely need to have more improv in my life.  It made me happy to make this one.  I need to make a regular date with my scraps to sew bits up.

Heal circle quilt
21.  Heal Circle quilt--Done and delivered!
I cannot begin to tell you how much my life is improved by being in this circle.  It has given me lovely women (love you Nicke) to be in contact with and a reminder to put the small things into check and be grateful in the moment.

22.  Mad's quilt--In Progress--
It doesn't have to be delivered until she graduates in May.  I have a design idea for this one, but I need to do a bunch of math to figure out how much background fabric I need.  (It's going to be one of the few purchases I'm allowing for 2014.)

Pouch for Mom
23.  Pouch for Bama--Done and delivered!
I loved putting goodies for my friends in these.

Pouch for Trollop
24.  Pouch for Trollop--Done and delivered!
I need to find smaller scale pin up fabrics.

Pouch for G
25.  Pouch for G--Done and delivered!
This one was for my husband best woman from our wedding.  I love her.  Wish she lived closer.

pouch for mom
26.  Pouch for mom--Done and delivering at Xmas
I did this in lieu of a stocking for mom this year.  I stuffed it full of goodies.  She's hard to shop for, but she likes things she can use.

Pouch for Karen
27.  Pouch for Karen--Done and delivered
I call her my brother's wife even though they aren't married.

Secret #2
28.  Secret gift (reveal:  Pouch for Nicke)--done and delivered
Tee hee.  I kept a secret!

Secret #1
29.  Secret gift #2 (reveal: Pouch for Lisa)--done and delivered
Ha!  Kept another one!  Can't wait to see you in the spring!

travel case redo
30.  Train Case makeover--done!
It's going to be my new hand sewing kit carrying deal-amajig for 2014.  I've got some hand sewing projects on tap.

Octo pillow
31.  Octopus pillow--Done!
I'm ridiculously happy with this one.  Yes, I fluffed the cutting and had to do more piecing than it had called for, but Allegory helped me with my "I'm to tired to do the math over" sleep deprivedness.  Now my octopi face up with the band on the right side.  It will match my Penny Sampler!

32.  Sidekick bag--POSSIBLE finish
I need a bag.  It needs to be purple and orange.  I have the pieces.  Just haven't had time.

Finished total:
3 possible additional finishes...highest possible total 26/32

ALYOF. Dec edition

I had set my Dec goal here to work on my Penny Sampler quilt.

I made the decision to hand quilt it because my FMQ skills still suck.
(Hello, goal for 2014.)

Anywho, I did it.  It was harder than I thought it would be.  I get frustrated with how slowly I hand sew.  Probably yet another reason why I should be doing it more....to get practice being patient.  (Yup.  Not my strength.)

I love it.  I haven't washed it yet.  I had another issue with a fabric bleed on the quilt I made for my aunt for Christmas.

This is the quilt that had the bleed.  I think it was the purply blue that ran:

Quilt for Aunt

Quilt for Aunt, back

I'm a bit scared to wash my Penny Sampler, as the blues I've used lately have seemed to be a source of problems.  (Gah.  I pray I haven't jinxed myself.)

Here it is in all its unwashed glory:

Penny Sampler done!

Penny Sampler

Penny Sampler

Penny Sampler

Now, to work on the lists for 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Time for an intervention....

I've sat down and had a chat with myself.
Self, I said, you've got too much stuff.  Too much stuff to clean, too much stuff to organize, too much stuff to keep track of.

So, I'm putting a halt to a bunch.  Declaring 2014 the year of declutter.

What does this mean?

Well, I'll be making some lists.  I've got a few goals I want to put into play for myself for 2014.

1.  I'm joining Jess on her Fabriholics Anonymous pledge.

I'm on a stash holding pattern from Jan 1 until at least June.  I may make an exception on this, notably the Stash Bash in April.  But that will be my one exception.  Yes, I can buy backings if it means I cannot otherwise finish a project, but that should be (given my current supplies) about all I need.

Part of it is motivated by the fact that (sad face) I think I'm going to have to resell my ticket to the Fat Quarterly retreat in London.  I was super excited about going.  It was going to be my 40th bday celebration, but family expenses (including having to go to at least one summer wedding this summer, car issues) are going to eat my budget.  Even if I could go on my own, I don't feel right going and not being able to bring my hubs along, too.  So, I'm waiting until the end of January to see if some miracle occurs (hello, universe, lottery win?) before I give up the ticket but, as of right now, I just don't think I can pull it off.  One of my friends suggested selling some of my quilts, but I don't want to try hinging it all on that.  I'm going to try to put my savings from 2014 toward a possible run at the FQ retreat in 2015.

2.  I'm making a list of books to read.  I've not been reading enough books this past year.  I love books.  I need them back in my life.  (Well, technically, they are there...sitting in piles and on shelves, languishing unread.)  Going to start low, with a list of 25 for the first part of the year.

3.  I need to clear out some UFOs, both sewing and knitting.  There are too many bins in my house.  I need to knit sock pairings for singles hanging out in drawers.

4.  Cleaning out the bellydance gear.  I'm going to get back into the routine of dancing again in 2014.  That said, I still have too much gear.  I'm not looking for restaurant gigs.  I need to find a newer dancer looking for costumes.  I have a closet that is full of stuff.  That needs to end.

5.  Losing some weight (yeah, that's a kind of emotional clutter.)  I lost a bunch last year, and I need to get back on track.  I got a Fitbit as an early Xmas present.  Anyone else in blogland use one?

6.  Clean out my closets.  I actually splurged and bought a bunch of new shirts this year.  I need to clear out stuff that doesn't fit and/or modify gear to actually fit/get rid of stuff I won't use.

7.  Make a summer for me.  That may be my present to myself for my 40th.  If I can't go to FQ retreat, I want to carve out learning time for me.  That means designing some of my own challenges for the summer.  While I love doing QAL and trying new things, I really really want to design my own sampler.  Maybe not with the intention of leading a QAL (although that could be fun), but to try my hand out at my own designing.  I had a rather long, interesting conversation with one of my best friends (who is an artist) and my husband about my work.  I don't see myself as an artist.  (The corollary of that is that I write an hour long play every year, and I don't see myself as a writer either.)  I got called out.  I also got called out on not being able to part with my work (other than gifting it) because I don't see it as perfect enough for people to buy.  As a result, I have stacks of quilts around my house.  Some of them are gorgeous.  I literally cannot rotate them fast enough to use them all.  I need to find a place of balance.  Maybe some venue to sell some quilts.  (Ack, just saying that is triggering a crapload of "they're not/I'm not good enough to sell them" internal dialog.  Blarg.)

This is going to demand some kind of schedule.  I haven't figured out what it looks like yet.  That's on tap after I finish writing that class play.  (Two scenes down, a WHOLE bunch left to still develop....deadline Jan 1.)

So, I'm putting it out into the universe.  I've said it out loud.  Now I just have to do it.  Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pattern Testing for Lynne!!! WOO!!!

I hit the lottery!

Tube quilt

I love pattern testing.  I got picked to test one of Lynne's new quilt patterns.

If you haven't met Lynne Goldsworthy before, you really should!  She blogs over at Lily's Quilts.  Not only is she incredibly talented (and has a book out and is a member of the fatquarterly.com team), she's also incredibly lovely and welcoming to new bloggers.  She hosts a Fresh Sewing Day and a Small Blog Meetup once a month.  I met a lot of people that way when I first started out.

Anywho, I ramble.  Look for the pattern to become available in January over at Lynne's and for a quiltalong!  I'm going to have to make at least one more.  This pattern was kind of like chocolates.  I can't eat just one.  This quilt had curves, but I made the biggest sized blocks out of the variations of the quilt, and the curves were super easy.  Plus, the quilt looks amazing.  And, it's FQ friendly for those of you trying to clear out some stash for next year!

Lynne calls the pattern The Tube Quilt.  I've been calling mine "They're Always after My Lucky Charms."  It's the green, people.

I quilted it using organic straight lines. I could lie, peoples, but my straight lines will never be perfect, and I've learned to embrace it.

Here's the back:

Tube Quilt back

I used up the fat quarter bits to make a panel for the back.
I used Aurifil to quilt it.  Love the leafy green I found.  (Must remind myself that a fabric diet won't include thread...)

My husband loved this one.  (All the green (his favorite color) might have something to do with it.)  I might have to make a bigger one for the bed, or I might have to make him one to replace the horrible Hawaiian shirt one I made for him early on in my quilting days.  (He's been using the Turkey Hand quilt on his side of the bed.)  I *may* now have an idea for his bday present.  Ooo..isn't the first anniversary cotton?!  Yay!

Thank you, Lynne, for letting me pattern test for you!  I had a blast!  I hope I get to see you in person in July.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dec ALYOF goal

I'm keeping it real.  There are a ton of projects I want to get done this month.

In reality, there are only three I have to get done, so I'm picking one of the three as my goal.

I want to finish my Penny Sampler.  I'm hand quilting it, and I am slow...

Penny basted

That is all.