Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Challenges and More Challenges

Thought I should keep you posted on my En Provence progress. And the progress on my APQ 2017 UFO Challenge and my local Quilt Chicks 2017 60 day Challenge. Whew, what is the deal with challenging myself.

To start with, I have not made much progress with my En Provence. I have about 20 more hourglass units in green, yellow and neutral to cut and sew. Then I can start to arrange on my design wall. I did have enough to lay out a preliminary block to see how it went together. I wasn't terribly excited, but really need to get it up on the wall so I can see several together. I love all the ones I am seeing on the Link Up page on Bonnie's blog.

My design wall is occupied at the moment with the January selection for  APQ 2017 UFO Challenge. Number 6 was chosen and that was a Crumb Quilt I had only had 36 blocks for. I posted about that here and here. Now I am sewing the rows together with 4 more to go. I may not get the top completed, I am debating about outside borders, but I will have made progress when January ends.

Quilt Chicks does a 60 day challenge. We turn in a list of 6 projects we hope to make progress on in the next year. 

A closer view of my list.

We also contribute $10. $4 of that amount stays in the pot, the other $6 can be earned back it we meet our challenge. We must bring the project for "show and tell" or at the least have sent a picture of it to our "list keeper" by it's due date. So last Sunday, Belle rolled the die and it landed on 5. That means the #5 on my list must be done by the  third Sunday in March. It is a Mondo Bag from QuiltSmart.

I received the pattern, the interfacing, a jelly roll and lining fabric in a gift exchange in May of 2016. The only progress I had made on it, was to read the instructions and cut apart the interfacing. As of today, I have gotten this much done.

Two sections of four needed to make the bag. 

208 2.5" squares cut from the jelly roll and placed onto the interfacing. There are 4 of these. Two are now pressed securely to the interfacing. Two more to go. Then cut lining pieces and fusible fleece and begin construction.

Also last night my F2F Book Club met, so there is that "challenge" The club's selection was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I had read it in January 2014. I had to go back and study up a bit. I did not have good character recall. I did remember that I like her writing. Most of my book club members did not like it and/or did not finish it. Our next read is The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.  I have read this title too, but it was last August. So I remember it pretty well. Some have already started it and are enjoying it more than The Goldfinch.  At least I won't have that book calling my name in the next 4 weeks. I am reading on my own, Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson.

I should finish them both this month.

Until next time,
Stay busy and Stay Happy

Monday, January 9, 2017

Clues #6 and #7 En Provence and a change in plans.

Clue #6 was making hourglass blocks using 2 green, a light purple and a neutral.  It was going famously following Bonnie's laying out and cutting directions using her new Essential Triangle ruler. You get sets of four green, purple,green, neutral, sew the green and purple pair, then sew the green and neutral pair, then sew them to each other. What could be simpler? Right?  I really wanted scrappy and as few matching hourglass units as possible, so I started to mix up the pairs.

 OOPS.....cutting of two extra sets of green/neutral followed. Maybe you wondered how I did not get equal pairs. Well, some strips are shorter than others and so there were not always sets of four at all  times.

Then while waiting for Clue #7, I decided to work on my Crumb Quilt. I posted here, that I had planned on using black sashing and red cornerstones. Some strips were cut! But I really did not like it, it looked dark and uninteresting. So, I perused my stash and chose this lovely lime green, and I had enough yardage! Then what for cornerstones?  I am partial to green and purple. I have been cutting greens and purples for En Provence, so which purple?  I have a 1/4 yard of a dark purple that I bought for En Provence and then decided it wouldn't work.  So....

What do you think?   I like it!!

This is my design board and surrounding mess. I still need 3 more crumb blocks ( no problem, the scraps are multiplying in the "crumb bin". And I need to cut more cornerstones. But it is much brighter. You can see my tumbler rows hanging on the corner on the left. And my iPod for music and my "dammit doll" to the left of the tumblers. I post about the dammit doll some day soon.

Clue #7 and the layout reveal was published.  I had been making 1/2 the number of blocks that Bonnie said we needed. Her layout is 16 blocks. 8 doesn't work well, 2 blocks by 4 blocks is way to skinny, so I settled on 3X3 or 9 blocks. That means I will be going back to make enough 3.5 inch block to make the extra 15" block. That's OK. I have plenty of fabric and now lots more experience.

So I am cutting and sewing, green, yellow, green, neutral hourglass units this week. Nine sets of 3.5 inch yellow squares are complete and in the project box .

Many participants are DONE!  Oh, my!  I envy their progress and perseverance.  I am enjoying the journey and I will continue to work on En Provence. My goal is to use my scraps, have a great time and to get my other challenges done as well. I have a local quilt group challenge due every 60 days and I am participating in the AllPeopleQuilt UFO Challenge 201 that I wrote about here.

So every day I spend at least 10 minutes in my sewing room. Sometimes much longer. But slow and steady wins the race. My word for 2017 is "PATIENCE" and I intend to practice that. If you want to see all the progress everyone has made and view some amazing completions, check out this link. Or go to Bonnie's blog and link up there.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Welcome 2017....I've Been Waiting for You!

This is the 3rd year I have participated in the First Book of the Year event, hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey. The year my pick is Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline.

I have had this book for a few months.  I have been wanting a special time to read it and there is none better than celebrating the First Book of the Year.  I am looking forward to getting involved with this one.

Last year I  joined several book challenges. I failed miserably at all of them except for the Triple Dog Dare Challenge.  That one was to only read books from my TBR shelves, from the first of the year until April 1st.  But all the other challenges were not completed. You can check out my 2016 challenges by clicking on the tab at the top of my blog.  This year I will do no other challenges as far as books go. I have lots on my shelves and downloaded on my Kindle.

I am doing some quilting challenges this year.  My Local Quilt Group, does a yearly challenge where we complete a UFO every 2 months. We write up a challenge sheet that has 6 projects that need to be completed or at least finished to a certain specification. One member rolls a die and whatever number the die lands on, that is the numbered project we work on. Then there is a show and tell 60 days later. I have the UFO's picked out, but we haven't met yet to submit our lists. When we do, I will have another post.

I am also participating in the All People Quilt  2017 UFO Challenge.  This one is for 12 projects. A number is posted every month and that is the project that is to be worked on each month. I have filled out the project sheet for the All People Quilt Challenge, and the challenge coordinator has announced the number for January at bit early. It is #6 Here is a copy of my list.

 I have 36 completed blocks, 5" unfinished. I need to decide if that is enough or if I need 6 more.

My stacks of crumb blocks. I have 36 so I think I will set it 6 X 6. The blocks are smallish and oh so busy, I will sash them with black 2" unfinished sashing and red cornerstones. I'll keep you posted. Hopefully!! It is a work in progress, no pattern,  so fingers crossed that it isn't TOO UGLY!!!

Well, that's as good as it gets for now
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, December 26, 2016

Clue #5 , a little bit of family and a White Christmas

Our Christmas weekend included Christmas Eve at our granddaughters home. Her mom and sister, our daughter and youngest granddaughter, arrived from Colorado on Friday. There was much hugging and laughing and good wishes.

I was anxious to try out Bonnie's new  Essential Triangles ruler on Clue #5. I had extra 3 1/2 inch strips cut previously, so I got right to it. It intimidated me at first but by the time I had 20 paired triangles cut, I was feeling the love. Because I am doing only 1/2 the amount of blocks, I need 34. I sewed the first 20 and then had to do other "get ready for Christmas" things.
Our great grandson was pretty excited about his first gift. Momma looks on while he plays with Jett and Super Wings playset. We couldn't get him away from this to open the rest of his gifts, so Daddy sat with baby sis, Bella on the floor and helped her.

She was pretty enthralled with the crinkly sounds of the paper as her daddy opened each one.

 And there was lots of trash to go to the dumpster!

Bella was such a happy girl all day. We got her the Bronco sleeper and her mom added the perfect Bronco blue headband. Isn't she a cutie?

 We headed home, across town only, after dark. The visibility was ugly. It felt worse than this picture indicates. Winter storm Europa blew and snowed all Christmas Day. A White Christmas but I was not happy.

As we got to our driveway this is the view to our front porch. Mr. Busy and our grandson-in-law had driven over together to make sure we could make it home and to shovel out the drift in front of the garage door. Then they drove back to where we women waited and picked me up. I did not really want to sleep on the floor at my granddaughters. I'm too old for sleepovers!!

This morning the wind has stopped, and the sun looks like it will shine. I think the plows are busy clearing city streets and highways. Not our residential streets yet, but they will.

 This is out our front door, Lots of white.

 Our back deck is drifted high in some spots and nearly clear in others. Those of you familiar with snow and blizzard conditions understand this phenomena. Nothing to do this early, except make coffee and go down to my sewing room to finish my 34 half square triangles   Here they are on my ironing board. I have a Quilt of Valor on my design wall behind, and you can see my overflowing basket of 2 1/2 inch strips, all colors.

If you are following along with the progress of participants in Bonnie Hunter's 2016 Mystery, En Provence, check out the link-up photos HERE>

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

ps: Those of you in the path of this storm, be aware and be safe.  My daughter just texted me and it doesn't look like she will be able to get home to Colorado this morning as planned. Still blowing snow on I-25 south. I am so concerned for them.

Monday, December 19, 2016

En Provence Mystery by Bonnie Hunter Clue #4

This is not the link to Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt. To find all the clues and the instructions, go to Quiltville's Quips & Snips. You will see the Monday Link-up today, but click on the En Provence Mystery Quilt tab at the top of her blog and there will be all the info so far.

Friday the 16th, Bonnie released clue #4.  Purple Tri Recs!!  I had some leftover neutral equilateral triangles from clue #2, so I was good to start. Purples were still on my cutting table because I was still building purple 4-patches.  Only need 40 of clue #4 because I am doing 1/2 the amount, therefore getting a smaller quilt. Bonnie usually designs queen size quilts. They are awesome and they are big.

Some of the Tri Recs in progress.....I don't sit for hours at my machine. My back won't let me. So I sew a bit, stand and press, then maybe cut.....when I can't do it anymore, I sit in my recliner for 20 minutes or so and then get up and go again. Slow and steady...I 'll get it done.

All my Clue #1s and Clue #2s are complete.

Clue #3 is more that half done and my binder with all the instructions and clues is complete. Cut a little, sew a little, press a little......done!  If you want to check to see how everyone else is doing, just click on this link to go to the Mystery Monday Link-up Part 4.

I also have been gathering my local quilt group's challenge projects. We do 6- 60 day challenges to get UFO's done. So I have been sorting and studying!   The best part!

So back down to the sewing room I go. Needing some alone time and some me time. Mr Busy just returned from the vet. We had to make the decision to "put down", our little dog, Emma. She was nearly 14, but came to us 2 1/2 years ago after his mom passed away. Emma was her lifesaver, after Mr. Busy's dad passed and his mom was alone. She was a big part of our lives. She will be missed by us, our kids, and grandkids.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, December 12, 2016

En Provence Mystery by Bonnie Hunter Clue #3

Clue #3 was revealed on Friday, the 9th. Yah!  Purples!!  Again we are doing four patches but only 168 for the whole quilt, and that means only 84 for me. These are to be dark purple and light purples in the configuration. I wanted a good variety so I cut some in strips and matched up pairs, but I also cut 2" squares of some real scraps from my stash. I have a pretty good variety now I think.

You can see I still have some neutral fabrics on my cutting table and the magenta is still laying out. I am pretty conservative when I cut, so I cut a bit and then sew, then cut more if needed. I am still sewing on the neutral 4 patches as leaders and enders on a Quilt of Valor that my local quilt group is working on. Most of us are making a top and backing and 3 of our members have long arm machines, so they will do the quilting. We hope to have them all finished for presentation in the summer at our state guild convention. Anyway, lots going on in my sewing space this season.

If you are interested in checking out the progress of others who are doing the mystery this year, just click HERE.  There are lots of us participating and there are some fabulous fabrics.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, December 5, 2016

En Provence Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter Clue #2

Bonnie Hunter posted clue #2 for this years Mystery Quilt on Friday, the 2nd of December. This Triangle in a square block is one I have never made before. So I am using the Tri Rec rulers for the first time. I was a bit intimidated with the angles, but the rulers made it "sew" easy. I always have a bit of a problem with ruler slippage, I think due to the fact that I don't have good strength in my hands anymore. Usually I can solve it with small sandpaper disks, but this time I tried a hint from Pat Spaeth. I used a scrap of shelf liner.  In this picture you can see the little dots I usually use and then the green heart shaped scrap of shelf liner that I am using this time. There is not significance to the shape of the green liner...just liked it.

Here are some pictures of more four patches from Clue #1 and the triangle in a square blocks. I have 10 complete and 15 ready to sew.

All the inside triangle are neutrals in the center and a constant of magenta making the square.

You can't see it very well here, but the fabric on the yellow cutting mat is a neutral with french words and images on it. Score!!!,,, it was in my stash! 

I'll spend the rest of the week, completing these two clues. I am only making 1/2 the amount, so I will get a smaller ( maybe lap size) quilt. 

Hopefully I will be able to keep up and to complete this fun mystery.  Link up HERE to check out what the others are doing. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

PS: Book related:  I finished " A Man Called Ove"  by Fredik Backman and narrated by George Newbern and so enjoyed it. Now I am listening to "The Opposite of Everyone" by Joshilyn Jackson. I am liking it.