Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blues making me happy and January's summation.

Blues are making me very happy this month.  The RBSC has been a great incentive to work through some of my blue scraps. Those 2 additional projects I mentioned several weeks ago that were a brain glimmer are now done.  Yippee!

Another snap bag, this time to hold those electronic adapters in the den near the computer.
For this I used the selvages of the fabric as the pull tabs to open the bag with.  
Ahhh,  gotta love a Free spirit fabric and especially since it has Nap Sack written there for all to see.  lol

The other blue remnant that was used was an apron panel thrown into the scrap basket.
So I rummaged through my stash for a different blue suitable for the lining and voila.
Another languishing pig is DONE!  That's 6 pigs done this month!
I think this PIG may very have been at least 12-15 years old if not older.   Sad isn't it that it took so long.

The directions says Winter Wonderland Apron, but I think it more Christmas themed.  
The only weird thing is that it has two Santa-s with sleds directionally heading right for each other.  

The fabric looks black here but trust me, it's dark navy.

The pin dot is what was used for the lining.  Any leftover navy pin dot will be used to make some more HST units for another community quilt project.   I'm on a new kick with making those HST units. For the apron it seemed easiest to sew right sides together then flip it inside out to finish with a top stitch.

Since it's finished, I'll pack it away for Christmas 2015.    Happy !

So the tally made for January is:
 1 circle ear bud zippered pouch,
4 snap bags,
1 apron,
10 quilt blocks for the RBSC and
more blues are ironed and cut so they're ready for a quick use  at a later time,

Made some hats with the grand children for the kitchen island's illuminated Birch tree.

 It's so cute!   There are 6 hats hanging on it now and I thought some ice skates or mittens out of felt could be made next year to continue the winter  theme .

Also finished reading the book: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, a nice read.  (Pulled me in quickly but I didn't care for the ending,  Just saying.)

AND the Quilting is so close to being done on another community quilt for my guild that I'm calling it done!

Not too shabby.

Hopefully I can keep this momentum going for February since the color for the month is PINK.

Another project I recently started is this wool table mat.  This will serve as my portable one which will be easy to take to basketball games, hockey  practice/games when the fan area is warm enough to stitch that is and then speech at the local college for the youngest grand child which also will be re-starting soon, so that will make another hour I could stitch after chaffeuring him to that.     ; )

The only thing wrong with this kit is one of those wools is shredding terribly without any abuse.  I'll be trading  that one out as I have some  red remnants left over from the valentine wool wall hanging I did last year and they didn't seem to fray at all.  4 hearts stitched so far with 4 more to go then the vine embroidery to stitch.  It mentions buttons but I'm thinking beads will be used on mine instead.  Making me  happy,  happy!

For my bigger quilting project for January with the Q-1 and a ALYOF I am almost done quilting it.


We celebrated our 41st anniversary this evening so I know I won't get to it tonight, but will finish it when I get up in the am which is close enough for a January finish in my book.

A different quilt design was stitched and I will share this finish at the beginning of next week.    Promise!  I have the binding all made so it'll be a relatively quick finish.  lol

As for the counted cross stitch project, that has progressed  nicely this month too.

My February endeavors and dreams are:  

Catch up with my BOMs is top on my list,
RBSC- PINK HST units in sets of 4.
Start working on some of the bird projects in my PIG pile,
Quilt the brown sashing areas of the Tweet Camping Quilt,
then if enough time quilt the bird themed  fabric squares too!
make the pink Rose pillow (that's a PIG),
A March themed wall hanging or two? (both of these are more PIGs),
make another doll blanket,
then make another table mat/runner or progress/finish the wool heart table mat shared on this post,
Get the snow scene finished on the bottom left section of counted cross stitch Lizzie Kate Winter's alphabet.
And Finish reading The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. It's really good so far. I'm up to page 100.

Goodbye January 2015, it's been quick but a good one.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Katjas Millefiori QAL for 2015, dreaming and skeeming

After seeing the Dale Chihully exhibit in Montreal 2 years ago with my Mom, I still dream of creating a quilt
combining a myriad of color but with cloth, my favorite medium as an artist- a self proclaimed one that is.

With the 2015 Millefiori QAl that Katya is hosting from her book, The New Hexagon, I had initially thought of using this QAL to make a Chihully fishing boat filled with hexagon fabric glass orbs.  But when I saw the "Maison de Provence" line offered through Connecting threads, I absolutely fell in love with the main print thinking it would be perfect for fussy cutting some of the hexies.  Ordered 1 yard, a layer stack of that line the Book The New Hexagon (at 40% off I might add) and then waited to see what the feel of the fabric was. I do love quality quilting fabric!   When it arrived, it felt really nice so while visiting some of my beloved local quilt shops Saturday during the "Visit your local Quilt shop day", I was able to find a few other fabrics to work with this long-termed project.   Here's a peak of all of it gathered together:

All the parts lined up for my idea for this New Hexagon QAL-
Maison de Provence j'adore!

Also I noticed Kim Diehl's line compliments nicely
adding just a pop of pink.
 This will be my DECADE Project.  I just know now that I'll piddle away on it and will finish it, but want to enjoy the process without any looming deadlines of a QAL.  I also happened  to notice that the Kim Diehl's line of fabric, Vintage Farmhouse also might work with it, so will be open to that possibility as well.  Am loving that deep teal/peacock color just now and I also have a few blacks that could go in as well which will make the colors more intense.

I'll share some of my first ever Hexagons.
Using a fat quarter of that sassy fabric, and brights for this project.
I  may put this on my horizon this summer to finish it off since lil' Miss is growing up.
She'll be 10 this year, my favorite number BTW.

Orientation was wrong for this one.
Will be used for a vase coaster since it doesn't line up correctly

These were made with Kaye Wood's View and Do Shapes technique and I thought a bed stand table mat for the grand daughter would be cute with these Hexies or a dresser scarf.

Knowing that I'll need to practice my skillz first, since I have never done any EPP (English Paper Piecing) before but have always wanted too, my first attempt will be to make a table runner for the living room with a fabric I found at Fibre Junction Quilt Shop on Saturday.

I brought a piece of the binding blue scrap from the Bird house wall hanging I made a few years ago with me to match the tone and shade for a sofa table runner.

Found a beautiful batik which I initially thought of using to make a disappearing four patch table runner for that site.  BUT, just this AM while reading my emails, I ran across this runner that Annette offered through Craftsy and purchased it quickly.

Where it will go.......

Here is that Island Batik print.

With synchronicity acknowledged, I just know this is right project to make for that table runner and with that batik.  So I will be doing that first as my EPP  learning curve.  

Of course I purchased more than that but will share more on another day.  That will be my project for the Spring Quilt retreat I attend with Trudy   :  )   For my own info, here are some other Hexagon related sights.
Full hexagon sheets are free at this web page:

Katya's Millefiori QAL for 2015 is here:

Supply area for paper piecing templates are here and the code for a 20% discount is "Getmy20" :

I'm getting off this time sucking machine now! Got to start getting some stuff done before the grand children get here.  J

Monday, January 19, 2015

January's Blues

This past week was a continuance to "avoid" the larger projects on my January list, choosing a couple of little projects that can be started and finished in a relatively short time.  It all started as I was purging those blue bits.....
First thing accomplished was a label that wasn't required then it was if you know what I mean.  I used a very pale blue scrap to make the label for the Nicaraguan Horse quilt using 2- 7" rectangles which finished off that remnant.  
It was printed onto the fabric after being adhered to freezer paper, colored with markers to make the cupcake paper area striped with a neon yellow and bright aqua blue to pronounce it a bit.  Then the shapes were stacked wrong sides together, outlined stitched, turned outside right and ultimately stitched onto the quilt back.  
It turned out cute, but I never grabbed a photo before the quilt was turned in.  Anyways, it looked sort of like this:    

These blues will make a nice blend for a quilt I have in mind but can't share here.
 It would give away the surprise I have in mind.
Second attempt of using blues came with making half square triangle (HST) units.  I plan to do that each month when Angela at So Scrapper calls for the next months' color focus with the RBSC.   I'm amazed by all the blue leftovers in my scrap bin as I normally don't gravitate to that color.  

This month was able to get 40 HST units made.  All the muslin squares are cut and the center line was marked diagonally with a pencil, (did that part during my local quilt guild meeting).

While sorting and purging, I found some larger pieces. Thinking, "Oh that piece looks big enough to make a bag", "oh that one too", now what compliments them I wondered then wandered off.  (lol... Did someone say "Squirrel?)

Then I found some larger remnants tucked away in the scrap bin.  Since I won a couple of different more modern fabrics in recent years past,  I had placed them in there to be used for zippered bags or snap bags.   So what was realized?   

Snappy Bags!

Used hair rubber bands to make the pull tabs.
Color is perfect.

The star fabric now houses the wind able rechargeable flashlight with it's multitudes of adapters for different phones it can also charge in case of an emergency.  Much nicer than the plastic package it came in if I do say so myself.

It will also store nicely in the nightstand drawer
and not get the flashlight lens scratched, another plus.

After finding another larger blue scrap that coordinated nicely with that beach/hotel print gave me to think of a bag for drink containers while at a water park, pool or beach where you can't bring a cooler.  So a HUGE Snap Bag was finished out of those.  

Happened to have a nice red/white woven ribbon
to make these pull tabs.
The size of this photo is not relevant since
this baby can hold a stack of six cans.
Will keep it cool enough without the weight
and bulkiness of a cooler besides fit in a beach bag!

There are 2 more blue projects I'd like to finish up before the end of the month.  Will share those  if they're  realized.  



Monday, January 12, 2015

January's peek

Here's a peek at what I've been up to.  Sorting, merging, and purging.  One huge basket  and one smaller one cleaned out and all sorted by mostly color.   Some day I'll share how I keep all these scraps in order.

The  RBSC color this month is blue so hopefully I'll be focusing on a table runner that I thought  of  this afternoon before the Meme Taxi runs into town for Grandchildren's activities and an errand for a pair of trammel points, (there's another table mat I want to get off the PIG pile).

As for my slow Stitching Sundays, that (Lizzie Kate Winter Alphabet counted cross stitch) project just reached an impasse.  I messed up counting my threads on the framing around the  letter V so was actually un-stitching them when the threads broke.  DO you know how hard it is to remember the actual sequence of the stitching you've done?   I had one of those Ah ha moments while making my tea this AM, and know that I can cut out all those stitches out around that frame instead of ripping out the wrong ones.  I think it would be a lot quicker for me and then I 'll correctly stitch it the whole thing.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Contemplating a quote

"Complacency is a health hazard that curiosity can cure."  a written quote by Elizabth Lee's article shared via the Press Republican on January 4ths:  With new year, time to put dates to plans struck a soft ping within me.   I will "focus" on this and see where it leads me.  

ALYOF January and my Q1 desires for 2015

My ButtonFor the first month's focus I want to get this community project quilted.  It's been on my  to do list for the past several months.  It was  spray basted and pinned during our circle of friends quilting gathering 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.  I knew then that the table was a bit small but didn't realize how horrendous I had layered it until I attempted to quilt it during Christmas vacation.  I  Just wish I'd known then how off it was as I know my buddies would have gladly helped me to get it smooth and straight.  It has so many crinkles and folds in it so I'll be redoing that first so it can be worked on.  I have an idea for the quilting - stay tuned.

Am linking this post up with Shanna of at Fiber of All Sorts.

2015 FAL at On the Windy SideAs for my focus for the first quarter I hope to take care of a few other UFOs around here.
For February finish the quilting on 40 Diamonds and then hopefully in March finish quilting at least the brown sashings of the Tweet Camping quilt if not perhaps the whole thing.    I'll be linking all three of these with Adrianne of New Zealand who blogs at On the Windy side for her Q-1 challenge. 
How about you, do you have some projects that you want to get done? This is a cool way to finish those items and join the creative swell of fellow quilters while doing it.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ha! then it came back at me with a Ha HA!

I'm linking this little project with Sharon at Let's Book it! since it's a project that I've had on my list of my want to do-s  for the past 2 or 3 years.  

Yep I said 2-3 years is how long I've wanted to make this little circle ear bud zippered pouch tutorial so conveniently offered by Erin who blogs at Dog Under My Desk.  With spending some time in my sewing room looking at what I could tackle when I thought of my recently shared intentions of learning and using some of my investments.  I thought why not try my Accuquilt Go! Die to cut those circles and was on a mission.
Downstairs to the storage area for those when I found the circle die #55012 for a 5" circle.  Erin's tutorial called for and gave a  4" circle template.  Thinking ahh a different size but this should be close enough I can fudge through so I happily continued along.   Got fabric remnants out of my scrap bucket from an old purse I made a copel of years to be used in my test.

So with relative ease I cut out all the parts, found a zipper that could work in my stash and read the instructions for assembly.  Good to go I'm thinking, what fun.
Erin's instructions are concise, well illustrated and since I was using a striped fabric I smugly thought I'd showcase my piecing skills and make the tab with the stripe matching the outer case of the pouch exactly.

Check- the stripe matching executed perfectly.
Everything is now done up to the point of turning it outside right so it can be top stitched - the finishing touch.

That's when .....

Oh NO!  Houston we have a problem.  

DUH!!   The  snap can't work from the inside of the case!  I called myself all kinds of names dufess being one and laughed out loud at my novice error.  Obviously now I see that I must have flipped the back upside down when assembling it to sew.  Grrrr.... I had reinforced the perimeter twice and knew that no way was Is going to be able to  rip out when I decided to just place the tab on the outside which has the lining fabric(the aqua blue on the underside) revealed towards the left above.  So I ripped out the tab, reinserted it appropriately so it could work and in my fustration had sewed the tab on a little crookedly.  Oh well, I know these ear buds won't mind since done is better than perfect any day!  ;)

 2015 is off to a great start!  Jane

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Intentions and dreams

Yes it's good to dream but most of the time I feel like my quilting desires have been infected by acute, chronic and make that even terminal ADHD.  Finding myself jumping willy-nilly from one project before a glimmer of another one catches my eye which takes me on another tangent which seems to be my new norm in these past years.  So my plan of attack for this year is to continue to FOCUS on what I'm doing.  Enjoying my endeavors and finishing the task at hand before allowing that monkey brain mind of mine to jump into something else.  In years' past I've embraced the blogging trends to finish my UFOs, start New FOs and even allowed my creative juices fodder to follow completely different directions when they wanted or more seriously when they needed to.   So with contemplation of what desires I have...

This year I plan to do the same  

**************   BUT   ************

this time with grace, acceptance, and going with the flow.  

In list style fashion my intentions are:

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

1- If I can get one thing done a week, I'll be happy.  Whether it's a large or small project won't matter to me, or even if it's just one step within a project.   I'll be content working with my hands and moving my quilting/crafting  techniques along to the next level.  As an incentive I'll play along with Adrianne from On the Windy Side in her 2015 Finish Along.

2- Through the years I have invested funds for tools to work my crafts and now ashamedly I have found that I've never used many of these items.  I plan to change that this year.   Allowing myself to play, learn and hopefully show improvements in my techniques and to stretch my creativity into other realms of quilting like art quilts and more Modern styles.  I'll only be able to achieve this dream if I allow that inner child to play and learn.

3- Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts has a challenge of Let's Book it that I sat by and watched longingly at last year.  I want to play too so count me in this year.  There are many patterns I've bought, printed, tagged and flagged that are still languishing on my shelves, containers and totes stored away.  Hopefully if I can get one of these done a month with Sharon's incentives as my carrot, besides experiencing the camaraderie with all the other participants which will be great company as I finally tackle some of these PIGs will all be a huge plus.

4- Jenny Beyer has a new QAL offered on Craftsy as the 2015 BOM which my jaw literally fell to the floor when I saw it.   Imagine all those tidbits of information she'll freely offer through Craftsy this year.   Yes please, I want to do that too so I just ordered her kit. I can't wait!

5- I'd like to improve my piecing skills.  By participating with miniatures is how I hope to realize this.  So last year (12/30/14 actually) I signed up at my LQS  Fibre Junction to participate in Carole's gathering for the Simple Whatnots Club, Collection 1, designed by Kim Diehl and Henry Glass Fabrics.  Since I'd joined mid way through it,  I've missed several of the sessions but that's fine with me.  Carole is an excellent quilter and does exquisite hand work.  They meet once a month for the next few months this year and I'll be able to share physically what my FOCUS has been  and get help with whatever area(s) need it.

6- The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is another desire to participate with this year.  

7-  As for my Counted Cross Stitch Arena, that needs movement there too, I am currently working on the Winter's Alphabet by Lizzie Kate and I hope to get plenty more realized by Year end.  Typically when focused I can stitch 2 threads a day so this year myplan is to do that but at least 3-4 times a week while I find that zen of needlework, a very happy place for me.

Enough plotting about it,

                           Happy New Year!

                                       Now let the Games Begin.....  


PS: Giggling and smiling now, as the acronym for these intentions spells out......... GAG wtf!  
Seriously, you just can't plan something like that.

Hello 2015