Friday, January 31, 2014

Conspicuously Absent

January was a fun month for me.  It was busy and hectic.  Being a bookkeeper in my other life, you might imagine I was busy beyond belief with my client's work.  Your imagination would be correct.  The last big push this week nearly knocked me out.  But I'm still on my feet, and still quilting.

I was able to FMQ 3 quilts this month.  Two still need the bindings finished.  The first two were Project Linus quilt tops given to me by Susan of Susan's Calico Creations.  She said they needed to be finished.  The first one was this cheery bowtie quilt that was all hand pieced!  I put the borders on it and got it quilted in very little time.

 The second one is a 3" charm quilt.  Great colors in this one too.  It's small enough for a baby quilt so I finished it off  with a  plaid backing and rich burgundy binding.

The final one is a baby quilt for my friend Mary Ann's new grandson.  He was born early in September, but is doing well now.  I had a cute Debbie Mumm Noah's Ark print for the backing but wouldn't you know it was just a smidgen too narrow, so I artfully placed a stripe on the back to make it fit.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Mystery is Solved - Celtic Solstice

Oh my goodness!  I put in a block wrong!  Can you spot it?
Happy New Year!  On New Year's Day, just after midnight EST, Bonnie Hunter revealed the final Celtic Solstice clue that revealed the beautiful Quilt she designed for us.  I am loving the pattern, but the colors are a tad outside my comfort zone. 

Since I was diligently working on Clue 5 still, I did not post last week's progress.  I was able to complete all of steps 2, 3, and 4, with 1 and 5 cut out, but not completed.  Now I have pieces and parts enough for a king-size quilt that will never be completed. 

This is the quilt I am determined to make - a small-ish size quilt that I can snuggle under.  Likely I will use the other parts for other smaller quilts for charity work.  It's bound to make someone smile.

I have seen many color variations of this quilt on others' blogs and am dreaming about making a full or queen size quilt for our guest room or our room, but the orange and yellow?  So not my thing.

I want to take a few minutes to thank Bonnie for all the lessons I learned making this quilt:
  • Embrace color.  It gives a quilt a life of its own.
  • Get that 1/4" seam exact.  If the blocks are not the right size, do what needs to be done to get them to measure up.  Ok, so some of them had to be trimmed a tiny little bit, but that's likely due to improper cutting.
  • Speaking of Cutting:  Measure Twice - Cut once - I have a nice pile of mis-cut pieces to show for my efforts, but not too big.
  • Break down complex jobs into bite-size chunks.  Each of the clues was a piece to one of two different blocks.  It was easy to make all the half square triangles and pinwheels, four patches or chevrons together.  At the end when assembling the blocks, I only had to go to the right pile to pull the pieces together.
  • Follow directions and diagrams to the letter, but feel free to experiment with colors and methods.  The chevrons kicked my backside - those flippy corners were the pits.  Until I saw on the Monday link-up from Karen in CA who showed us how to use strips to do the same thing.  See her post here.  Thank you Karen!  I was able to crank out the last half of those chevrons in only a couple of days.
This was my first-ever mystery quilt.  I have been excited to be a part of it.  Joining up with the final Mystery Monday Linkup at QuiltVille.  Thank you Bonnie for an exciting month!  I'm going to let this project live on my design wall for a while as  I clean up the extra parts and pieces, straighten up my Quilting Studio, and start working on some other projects I have coming up for this year.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I am so blessed - Life is Good!

My Husband is the greatest!   After 29 1/2 years, I think he's getting the hang of giving gifts.  Crazy man that he is, he went out yesterday afternoon to do his Christmas Shopping.  Now mind you, he only has one person to buy for, but still he waits until the very last minute!

Hubby is so supportive of my quilting habit - he bought me a 5 pack of rotary cutter blades, and 10 yards of Red and blue fabrics.  How cool is that?  He knows I want to do more quilts for soldiers, and figured that red and blue would be safe.  He picked it out all by himself from my favorite fabric stores.

My Mom also got into the act with several fat quarters of red and blue and cute pirate cats,  a rotary cutter blade, template and scissors.  She was so cute - she wrapped all our gifts in these wonderful snack boxes.  I asked her to save me a few from Dad's favorite snack.  I use them to put parts of my quilts in to keep them organized.

Right now, I'm using several to keep my Celtic Solstice parts organized...

Speaking of Celtic Solstice - Check this out!  I have to date made the following:

Clue 4 - 2 patch Segments for my 4 patches
Clue 1 - Tri-Recs Triangles: 90 of 380 total. Long way to go yet
Clue 2 - Chevrons70 80 of 288.  Long way to go here too
Clue 3 - Half Square Triangles420 440 of  488 - Almost there!
Clue 4 - 4 Patches:  I don't have any finished, but I'm almost finished sewing the 120 sets of  10" x 2"
strips and cut them up into 2" segments of 2 patches.

Clue 1 Tri Recs have been put aside to work on the others.  I'm about ready to get them out because I'm kind of bored with the Chevrons. 
Clue 2 Chevrons
Neutral Squares for Chevrons
Clue 2 Chevrons are coming together, and I'm getting the hang of getting the stitching lines to work out right so I have very little trimming to do.  They are very intense though so I'm finding it hard to do more than 5 at a time. 
420 Half Square Triangles
Clue 3 and 4 are all cut and I'm using them as leader/enders for the others.  I find that I'm making steady progress.

My favorite tools right now are the little red wonder clips to hold my parts together in groups of 10,  my Bloc Lock HST ruler which is getting quite the workout, and my shape cut ruler which is helping me cut multiple strips at the same time.

Linking up with Bonnie Hunter's Linky Party over at QuiltVille. Take a look at all the other's progress.  Even a few guesses at what the block might look like!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Squeaking in under the Wire - Clue 3 Celtic Solstice

I've been pretty sick this week - a miserable time to be sick really - just before the holidays.  Darling Hubby's cold caught up to me and I've been laid low.  He was laid up for a couple of days just before Thanksgiving - this has been going on a week for me - it settled in my chest, and I think I've pulled a couple of ribs from coughing. Ouch!

I was able to get the 2" strips cut for step #3 of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery - Celtic Solstice, a few triangles cut and sewn (about 40).  They're working out pretty good, with only about 1% having to be tossed in the slush pile for another quilt.

I also finished a few (about 20) chevrons from Step 2.  All pieces are cut and marked, just need to feed them through the machine.


I'm linking back to Bonnie's Linky Party.  You should see what the others are doing.  I'm hoping to be caught up by the end of next week

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gatitude & Appreciation - Finished!

 Last week I was able to finish the Red White & Blue quilt for my client's son.  She commissioned me to make this back in July after their wedding.  It was a real labor of love, since it turned out to be 69" x 79".  Big enough for both of them to snuggle on the couch with. 

I added words of encouragement in the inside border, love, family, freedom, peace, country, courage, grateful, etc.  I hope they are as pleased with it as I was to have it finished.  It is winging its way to Mom to be presented as a Christmas Gift this year.

I'm still working on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Celtic Solstice.  You can see my progress in Part 1 and Part 2.  I have yet to start part 3 since I still have some Christmas stuff to do.

Linking up with Can I get a Whoop Whoop from Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Well, It's still a Mystery - Celtic Solstice Part 2

This week is Part 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt.  I was able to finish about 50 Neutral and 40 Orange triangle units from Part 1.  This week it's Chevrons!!!  So I am practicing smiling when I say this because 'flippy corners' are not my favorite thing to do.
Since I'm using the scrappy look, I had many fabrics to cut into little 3 1/2 x 2 rectangles for the green part.  I dusted off my previously unused ShapeCut ruler and went to town

 See the purple painter's tape - that's so I only hit the correct slots for the 3 1/2" strips and the sub-cuts of 2".  This made cutting these strips and rectangles super fast. 
The Greens and Neutrals are all done

And Hubby was kind enough to help me with drawing the lines on the squares for the neutrals.  Now I only have the yellows to do!

In other news, I finished quilting a quilt for a solder-son of a client.  The binding is on, I only need to finish hand-stitching it down before I get it in the mail this week.

Join me at Bonnie's Linky Party and see all the progress others are making on their quilts!  I'm loving some of the alternate color combinations.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's a Mystery! Celtic Solstice Part 1

I'm excited to participate in my very first Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  When the colors were released back in October, I started gathering up fabrics that I thought would work. It was fun choosing fabrics from my stash, but I had to do some shopping as well, since my colors tend to run towards the more muted country colors.  Any excuse to shop right?  I'm still lacking in the blues so I'll have to shop some more. Yaaa!
Last Friday, the first clue was released!  If only my smart phone would have loaded the page, I would have been in heaven!  We had to wait until we checked into the hotel before I could see it.
Since I was out of town until yesterday, I wasn't able to make as much progress as I would like.  So far I've cut all the orange triangles, some of the blues and a few neutrals.


It's a good thing I have all week to work on this step because I have a long way to go!
Thank you Bonnie Hunter for being generous and sharing your creativity with the quilting world!  I am excited to see how this is going to turn out.

Linking to Quiltville's Monday Linkup.  It sure is great to see so many other quilter's progress, colors and styles.