Judy L's UFO Challenge

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on my One Monthly Goal for April. I had rows of blocks pieced together when I set the goal. I figured out how big the quilt would be with the blocks i had at the point I purchased the UFO from the estate sale. I figured out how many blocks I would need to achieve my desired size then determined if i had enough fabric to make them.

Great news. I had enough. I cut the strips and then subcut them at a retreat a week ago. Over the past week I started making the blocks I needed completing them all today.

Because I made them in batches, I had enough blocks to make the remaining rows for two of the quadrants first. Saturday afternoon I completed the first.

Sunday morning I began working on the second quadrant. I was trying to hurry to finish it before company arrived.

Oops! I still had time to rip out the bad row and reattach it.

Better. After our Easter dinner with friends and family I decided to continue sewing. I finished the rest of the blocks then I sewed together the rows I had already made for the third quadrant. Three more rows to make and attach.

It looks like I'm on target to complete my goal this month.

I had a very small bleed in my surgical eye. I bent a little too far unintentionally and felt a little pop. Luckily it cleared up and did nit effect my vision. I have the right eye done Tuesday. This is the more troublesome of the two. I plan to be even more careful with this one during recovery.

Linking up with Patchworktimes for Design Wall Monday.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Backsliding

I went to Sandra's house the Monday before my surgery last week. It was going to be my last chance at heavy lifting until after my cataract surgeries and recoveries. There were a few things i wanted to do and a few things Sandra wanted me to do.

i worked at these tasks and sat down to visit with her for awhile afterwards. She had eight large stacks of magazines on the floor. We talked about the fact that she could spend my recovery time going through those magazines and getting them all cleared out so that we can move onto other things in her home. She said yes she could take her time and work on them. I left hopeful that she would do just that and really conquer a lot of paper clutter in her home. I even mentioned that there were two totes full of bills and newsletters that she needed to go through and shred as she had time.

I have to admit it was a little sad when I left after I had been spending so much time with her knowing that I was going back to work and wouldn't get to see her quite as often. I think she felt the same and we took a long time to say our goodbyes and see you laters when I left.

Surgery happened. Post surgery happened. All went well. I asked Linda if she wanted to go and visit Sandra on Thursday. We went and picked up lunch and took it to her. We arrived to her quickly bagging up the magazines in small batches and putting them in her wagon so that she could take them out to the patio. She probably exclaimed she was trying to get them all outside so that we would be surprised at how good things are looking there. I was a little bit dismayed because I was hoping she would go through them and get rid of them that way rather than stash them somewhere. Linda helped her get those that she had bagged up outside and she put them away but the rest sat there while we visited and had lunch. We visited and talked about her goal of going through one bag a week and we suggested that maybe she should go through a couple bags a day. I of course made my inspection rounds. She is clinging tightly to keeping her laundry area clear. Sadly there are things starting to line up in the hall. We left and said our goodbyes again talking about the fact that I was returning to work the following Monday and that my visits would be fewer.

I have seen Sandra socially a few times since that visit and have talked her on the phone a few times as well. Most recently she proudly returned one of the totes I gad taken over there for her to keep her things in until she can go through them. She described how she emptied one of her totes so she could transfer the things. My interpretation is there is a bigger mess now. My last conversation made me hopeful. She happily described all the things she had bagged up ready to go out the door to family members she is seeing at Easter. She also has some quilty items ready to go out as well. I have accupuncture once a week near her house. I plan to stop in afterwards each week to see how I can help. I can't wait until May when my restrictions
from surgery are lifted.



Sunday, April 09, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I went to a day retreat at my local quilt store on Sunday. It went from 10 AM to 6 PM but I had to stop around 4:30 because I just ran out of steam.

When I sew outside of my house I like to do cutting of strips because I typically have more room and I like to work on things that require a little more precision using my Singer 301.

While I was at the retreat I cut the rest of the pieces that I need for my 3-D bow tie quilt. I don't mind sewing that one at home on my Janome. I also worked on my Crossroads quilt. I prefer to work on this one on my 301 because it has very small pieces and I can be very accurate on that machine.

Crossroads is a 6 month BOM. I managed to finish the fourth month/round today. The fifth month/round has a bunch of churndash blocks. It's going to take a good bit of time to get this round complete.

We had really good food at the retreat and also a really fun time. Would anyone like to buy a vowel?

I'm linking up with Judy at Patchworktimes.



p.s. My first eye surgery was a success. I'm preparing for the next one on the 18th. Also starting my new job tomorrow.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Second Quarter 2017 Finish Along

Rhonda at Rhonda's Ramblings hosts a Finish Along each quarter. You link to her blog, or one of the other hostesses, with a post about your proposed finishes.

My goal this year is to be a finisher. There are two UFO challenges I participate in. To prepare for those I listed 12 I really wanted to get finished this year. Those will be the main focus of this quarter along with some smaller items.

1 Strip Stacks - purple borders
2 Strip Stacks - red border
3 tumbler
4 4 patch on point - black green pink
5 Avignon Picnic
6 Matchstick Marimba
7 Strip Stacks - green and pink
8 Renee's navy top
9 Nancie's Floral and White Blocks
10 Pieced together contest
11 Pink Poppy BQ
12 Bandana shirt
13 Turquoise blocks
14 Ricci's quilt
15 3D Bowtie
16 Double 4 patch
17 - ? Find and quilt all the charity quilts I have lingering here

15 and 16 require piecing. The rest need to be quilted and bound.

Wish me luck!


Chronicles of Sandra The Patio

Linda, Nick and I went to Sandra's Saturday a.m. My plan was to have Linda sit with Sandra while Nick and I worked on the patio. Nate was supposed to join us but he was a no show.

Sandra's talk of just letting all the magazines go was just that. Talk. Linda sorted through one large stack while Sandra sorted through other paper. Linda acted as a gopher for us coming and grabbing more things from me to take to sort or bringing me trash bags or whatever else.

Nick helped totally clear out the far end of the patio that I was not able to do. Too much heavy lifting. We got things cleared out on that end then Nick went through with the blower to get all the bits and pieces off the floor. At that point we put back what was staying. There is now a clear path all the way through.

A lot of consolidation happened. We got rid of beaten up boxes and rehomed things into sealed totes. Sandra and I had discussed baskets and she agreed they no longer worked in her home. We found at least a dozen on the patio and took them straight to the truck to go. She let go of a broken wooden chair and a small decorative wicker couch. These things were taking up a lot of space!

Still too much stuff out there but the trash is gone. Large unwanted items are gone. I only found a few more magazines out there. I'm hoping we have reached the end of those but I'm sure there are more lurking in the other rooms.

Now that the flow of paper will slow down I think Sandra will be seeing great progress in her living room.

We talked yesterday about what's next. I only have today for any heavy lifting for awhile. I'm having cataract surgery tomorrow and then on the 18th. Lifting and bending restrictions come with it. I'll be out of commission for the rest of April.

Let's add to this that I have been unemployed since October. I got a job offer and go back to work on the 10th. Any more time I spend there will be on the weekends and for shorter periods of time. I will probably be taking people with me as they are available to make as big an impact as I can. I think Sandra is closer to being able to work on things herself. Just a little more work and she'll be there.

Ill leave you with this little treasure I found on the patio. Sandra, 10, is on the left and Grace, 12, is on the right. Sandra told me her Dad used to carry this picture set with him whenever he travelled. What a sweet story. It is safely inside the house now. Whenever I talk to Grace she thanks me profusely for helping Sandra. I'm just glad Sandra allowed me to.



Saturday, April 01, 2017

April OMG

Here's a recycled photo of my 3D bow tie. I'd like to get it to completed top stage.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts and the April OMG goal setting post.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Find of the Century

When we started I was dumping out tote bags and searching for a camera. I have been there for almost 2 months now and not seen the camera. And of course as we have worked a long list of things have been added to my list of things to be on the lookout for. I told Sandra that I was feeling bad that I wasn't finding the things that she was wanting found.

Today I was out on the patio organizing the things out there trying to locate all the paper related to quilting. I have been trying to be very methodical about going through everything as a come to it. She has a rolling walker with a walker bag on it and I kept pushing it back and forth out of my way. I don't know why it popped into my head but I decided I need to go through that walker bag to see what she had in there. And lo and behold there was her camera. She has no memory of putting it in there. She started calling people so that she could share her excitement of having her camera again. I overheard her telling them she needs to put five dollars in an envelope for me to find to keep me motivated to finish the job. That just makes me laugh. The list of objects to find still remains long enough so I feel adequately motivated.

I know Sandra is growing tired of me finding magazine up on magazine but I reminded her that she was the one that brought it into the house one by one and that was how It was going to have to go out. I have invited Linda to come back to help her do a quick sort through the stacks so that we can get them out of her living room. Sandra told me today she's about ready to just tell us to take them all and not even look at them but I know she's not going to stick with that.

She did take a suggestion of mine which was to take the things that she has been bagging up for family members and put them in her trunk to both save space in her house and also to have everything ready when she saw them so that she could pass them along. I look forward to seeing Sandra on Saturday to continue to get things sorted and going out the door so that we can move on to other types of things to sort through.

As as an aside. When I was at the Dallas Quilt Show I had a vendor try to entice me into subscribing to two magazines for two years in order to get a free totebag. I just stood there in stunned silence. If I never saw another magazine of tote bag I think I might be ok with that!

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Taming the Paper Dragon

Nick, Nate and I snuck over to Sandras one day. She had talked and talked about getting the leaves behind her fence cleaned up because they were trapping a lot of trash that was blowing down from the neighbors. She had mentioned that she had gotten a citation or two and was really frustrated by that. In a matter of 30 minutes we managed to get all the leaves picked up and bagged up in about 10 large lawn bags. We tried to scrape all the dirt that had accumulated and push it into a ditch made by the trash truck.

We left a good bit of dirt that was hard packed to the ground but with all the rain that we have gotten I'm hoping that it has loosened up and when we return the guys will be able to get it scraped up and pushed off into that same ditch.

I didn't tell her what we had done and I have been over there at least three times now since. She didn't mention that the leaves were gone so I told her I saw that someone had stolen all her leaves. She kept telling me how she needed to go thank the neighbor for removing the leaves. I saw her today and asked her if she got around to thanking her neighbor and she told me no. Linda was with us and I kept giving Sandra hints that I knew all about the leaves but she just wasn't getting it. Linda was in on the secret and was laughing so hard. I told Linda to go ahead and break it to her but she wouldn't. Finally I just showed Sandra the picture shown above but she still didn't get it. I finally just told her that we took bagged the leaves. She told me she was glad I had told her because she would've been embarrassed if she had thanked the neighbor and the neighbor didn't know what she was talking about.

For the last two visits I have been focusing on her enclosed patio. I've been trying to get all the magazines and paper into her house for her to address. She's getting faster going through the magazines but I know that she's getting sick and tired of it as well. I told her that once we got through all the paper that we could start doing fun things like sewing and cutting. She seemed to perk up a little bit at that suggestion. She bought herself a new spool of thread when she was out with me and Linda today and said that she's looking forward to sewing again which was a change from last week when she was saying she may never make another quilt. I told her she could always make the blocks and she would have plenty of help to assemble the top.

I'll be going over there a couple more times this week and plan to take Nick and Nate with me on Saturday to do some heavy lifting and rearranging. I think with some of the changes I have in mind that we will be able to really start making a difference in the bedrooms that we couldn't make a dent in before.

Stay tuned! We are chipping away at it and hopefully we will be calling more areas done soon!



Saturday, March 25, 2017

3-D Bow Tie Play

I chose a layout and decided to make as big a top as I could with the blocks already made. I'm aiming for 110" square. I'm at 70"x80". I used the white on white I had from Writers Block for the plain squares. I am out of that now.

I need 212 more blocks. Half bow ties and half plain. I only have a 2 yard piece of WOW left from making the bow ties. I'll make the 106 blocks needed from the fabric originally used for the bow ties then introduce a third WOW.

Here is what I have so far. I'm hoping the different WOWs will blend together ok.

This was another partially made quilt that I bought at an estate sale last year. This will be my main piecing project at home until it's a top.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Slow Progress

I've only been to Sandra's twice in the past two weeks. She asked for a weeks break and then we had the Dallas Quilt show. She sits at the ovarian cancer awareness booth there the entire event and it's pretty exhausting for her. She emphatically told me she did not want me to come to the house last week because she was too tired.

By Thursday she called me and asked if she could have a do over. This made me chuckle. I told her I could come that day for a few hours or the next day for as long as she needed. She is not known for getting up early. She started to ask me to call her when I woke up in the morning but caught herself. She asked when I got up and I told her between 5 and 6. She asked me to call at 8 lol.

We have been working on putting things away from her living room that she has sorted through. I thought it was helpful to bring things out to her to sort when I wasn't there. I just overestimated the volume she could deal with and have totally overwhelmed her.
I'll have to find the balance to motivate her but not let it seem like too much.

Yesterday we were doing more putting away. She has a friend visiting from out of town. Her friend loves to quilt and asked Sandra for some tops to quilt. One of the tops needed a little more work that involved painting and drawing. When I left Friday I was concerned about her finding what she needed to finish that quilt and also find her backings, bindings and battings. Amazingly she had done just that. I helped her cut her backings and did find one more batt for her. I also did my usual put away, tidy.

One of the things Sandra wanted to do was vacuum her living room before we cut backings on it. She did not want me to vacuum so I had to make myself busy while she did the job. She also had to take her pills and so on. It was a long process. So while she was at it I stepped out onto her patio. She mentioned there was a missing shirt and wondered if there were more clothes on her screened in patio.

I started by straightening up her open covered patio. I found paper items out there that would ruin if we got a hard rain storm. I consolidated things into closed containers and got rid of trash. I did find a big tote full of new sweatshirts that had the tags on them still. She already has a large quantity inside also unworn. I asked her to consider donating or selling those outdoors. She is reluctant to let them go. I think she feels a little ashamed to have so many that have been forgotten.

Next I went to work on her enclosed patio. I did find another tote of clothes but no shirt. I took anything that wasn't a jacket or sweatshirt in to her to be laundered and hung up. There is still quite a bit of quilt stuff on her patio. I think the best I can do out there is consolidate and protect what is there until she is ready to deal with it. I did carry in a few arm loads of books and magazines. There are certain things I know she will let go and things I know she will hang onto. Once I sorted out her keepers and goers I added the rest of her to be sorted pile. I stopped there and went back inside.

I spent the rest of my time helping her select and cut her backings. I packaged up each quilt in its own bundle. I packed her donation pile, tidied up and we stopped there.

As I do each time I visit, I check the areas that we have already cleaned up to see if she is piling up again. She has really maintained a lot better than I thought she would. I see things creeping out in some places but so far they have been small things that she can easily move herself. I just remind myself it is her home not mine and that I am there in a support role to help her accomplish her goals. It is difficult to hear her say she doubts she will make many more quilts yet she is unwilling to let go of any of the thousands of yards of fabric she has.

Any suggestions for me?



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Not a Block of the Month Fan

I don't really care for BOMs. I usually see them and just think meh. Long and drawn out and if I get the urge to finish it I can't if everything hasn't been released yet.

Then I saw Crossroads. This one was like a round robin and had such crazy colors to it. It was only six months long. I accumulated all 6 months before I started.

Month one had me making 3" churndash blocks. I started out on my Janome 6500 but wasn't getting the precision I needed so I switched to my Singer 301.

Month two found me adding some chunky borders then a seriously skinny border. Month three had me cutting some chunky pluses then cutting them on the diagonal to make them wonky. That was followed by a chunky border then an even skinnier border.

While cutting this round I realized our kit was short some fabric. I hurried over to Wattafind and they remedied the situation. Before finishing this months kit I cut month four to make sure it wasn't short as well.

I'll be cutting the last two months this week because I would hate to get to the end to find out I was short somewhere else and all the fabric was gone from the quilt store!

Stay tuned for rounds four thru six!



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Here is the Purple One

Should I go buy the rose color and overdye my overdye?

Here they are together. Purple on the left.

I wrote on the selvedge so I know which is which but otherwise I think they're indistinguishable.



Overdye Experiment

A friend gave me a roll of fabric. When I saw it I liked the print but the pink background was meh. I thought I'm going to take this and try overdying it to a plum color.

i started googling about the process and found sights that showed base colors, dre colors used and the results. While researching this I realized the pattern was going to take on color too. I decided to forge ahead before I chickened out. I decided to go with a blue.

i was at Walmart and decided to see what they had in the way of dye. I found a royal blue. I decided if I was going to experiment why not go for it. I also picked a purple.

The instructions say to use steaming hot water in a bucket and stir constantly for 15 minutes. Then occasionally for 45 minutes. Too much trouble! I threw the dye and salt in my top loader on bulky setting. After it dissolved, which was almost immediately, I added the fabric and let it agitate for 15 minutes. I stopped the cycle and turned the machine off and on every 15 minutes for 45 minutes. I let the cycle finish then washed and dried the fabric.

Here are my results. The original is on the right.

As I was typing this I thought a rose color would have been fun to try. Next time. I'll come back later and show the purple.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Writers Block OMG Finish

I finished piecing this quilt Monday night and cut and applied the borders yesterday. The pattern is from a 2007 magazine. The suggested cutting of the border made me question my piecing. Luckily I met with my sewing group yesterday and was able to go over the math and dimensions with a friend. The directions suggest cutting the border at 80" and trimming to fit. The actual length needed was 4-5 inches shorter. After I confirmed my piecing was accurate I cut my borders.

I am working on another quilt that I get better piecing results on my Singer 301, my travel machine, so I switched over to that for the rest of my sewing session. When I got home last night I applied those borders.

This quilt is my March OMG. I'm very happy to have it done with plenty of time to spare.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the finish linkup.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I was sewing and pinning and pinning and sewing. While pinning something didn't seem right. I opened the pieces a little for a peek. It seemed ok so I ignored that nagging feeling attributing it to pinning two different block sets together. I even went back to the one again and convinced myself it was ok.

it was getting late so I decided to sew until the show I was watching ended. I sewed two sets only to realize my bobbin ran out in the last three inches of the first set. I had a new bobbin, already wound, in and continued sewing. When I got through the sets I opened them to check them all. There it was! I had pinned something wrong.

I threw the offending piece aside and pinned the rest. My show came to an end so I queued up something else. When I finally stopped I had two completed rows, the wrong piece repinned and everything setup to resume sewing this a.m.

All the sashing pieces are done. I have access to a large cutting table tomorrow so I'd like to get my center done so that I can get the final border cut and ready to attach.

Linking with Patchworktimes.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Writers Block Progress

More sashing done.

I've been at the Dallas quilt show for two days so not sewing as much.



Thursday, March 09, 2017

Writers Block

I've been steadily piecing on this quilt. I have the centers of all the blocks done and now have to sash them. I have some of those components done so it should be pretty smooth sailing.

Maybe I'll have the center done this weekend.



Monday, March 06, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Books and Busywork

Linda, my and Sandra's mutual friend, picked me and Eunice up yesterday afternoon. We went to Sandra's with the plan to work on sorting all her books. I was pleased to see that Sandra had already brought some out and had begun sorting them. Linda sat with her and they sorted together. I made myself busy by carrying out the rest of the books.

Eunice came to have something to do so instead of her standing around I asked her to tidy the kitchen. The thought of this task was even daunting to me. The cabinets are full, the drawers are full and the counters and table are covered. I suggested to Eunice that she take everything off a counter and then put back what she thought belonged there. She asked a few questions and I sent her to Sandra a couple of times with her requests. Amazingly that girl made the kitchen look a lot better. Clear, open spaces. She found where the food items were stored and got everything put away.

We managed to get through a large portion of the books and magazines. Those we left were ones Sandra needed more time to go through. Eunice carried the goers out to the truck.

While Linda and Sandra finished tidying and visiting I took Eunice back to the sewing room. Sandra had made a comment that she wished she could get to her machine to sew after I had blocked the entrance again trying to make the living room look neater. I had Eunice move most of the stuff to the guest room. It has to go somewhere and I left that decision to Sandra.

Both Eunice and I went to inspect previously cleared areas. I can tell signs of things moved around but Sandra is keeping areas cleared out. All this activity is tiring her out so we are taking at least a week long break. If you can't tell already I'll be mentally clearing out spaces.

It's just time to let go of the good stuff....



Design Wall Monday March 6

In between my decluttering efforts both at Sandra's and here at home I've been sewing on my Writers block. I have all the small units pieced and am currently assembling them into larger units.

Here is the center of one of the blocks. There are only 12 of these units.

Here is a finished sashing unit. There are 5 of these. I am actively working on these then will move to the sashing units that go between the blocks vertically.

I'm linking with Patchworktimes.



Saturday, March 04, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Small Goals and a Stuffed Cat

I went to Sandras on Wednesday. This time I took Nate, 19, and Eunice, 22, with me. I had the goal of getting the laundry room floor totally cleared off and getting anything that was non-quilt related out of the spare bedroom. Eunice worked on the laundry room and did an amazing job. I had told her that I was interested in getting all the hanging clothes that were on the door hung up in their proper place. She got all the clothes pull out of there that were either hanging or laying next to the dryer. These are all clean clothes and she put them on Sandra's bed for her to put away. She also got everything off the floor and quite a bit of quilt items out of there. The transformation was amazing and Sandra was very pleased. Sadly there's still quite a bit that does not belong in there but this is a work in progress.

Nate and I tackled the guestroom. I began by pulling out non-quilt items and taking them into the living room for sorting with Sandra. Unfortunately most of it was quilt related and there's just no place to put it any longer. I ended up stacking some things on the bed, which I really did not want to do, just to get access to a book case that Sandra was interested in pulling all of the books from. That was when I called Nate and asked him if he could safely reach all those books and bring them out to the front of the room so that Sandra could get to them. While he was working back there I went to the living room and continued sorting things with Sandra. He called me back when he was done. Sandra asked if we could strip the bed so she could wash everything. I asked Nate to safely stack things on top of the items already next to the bed. He did as much as he could but there were still things on the bed. I told him to just push them to the head of the bed and strip it from underneath things. Sandra asked if the books could be brought out into the doorway where a little alcove exists. Nate shuffled books and placed them there.

With the few goals that Sandra and I had set accomplished we went about tidying up everything again so that there were no trip hazards for her. We carried all the items that she had decided to let go of out to my car and left with a plan of taking a break from all the decluttering. I won't lie I felt a little sad about having to stop working. I think it's because. I have a little bit of control before and now I will have none. It's all up to Sandra whether she continues to sort and get rid of things now.

I did call her later in the day to discuss the books that she wanted to sort through. She had mentioned that she wanted her sister and our friend Linda to be with us while we sorted them so that they could take what they wanted. So I suggested to her that we all get together Sunday afternoon and go through them. Whatever was not taken I would take and try to sell for her. She thought that was a good idea so we are reconvening Sunday.

When the kids and I got back to my house. We sat down and talked about everything that we had accomplished. They were both excited about what they had done and both wished that they could've done more. Nate looked at me with a very serious look on his face and asked me if I knew that there was a taxidermied cat at Sandra's house. I asked him if it was a sleeping cat in a bed. He said that it was and I explained to him that it was a stuffed cat but it was a toy. We laughed about that and I called Sandra later and told her that story. She thought it was funny.

I can't seem to let Sandra stop so I need to work on my own shortcomings and let her rest. Until later...



Thursday, March 02, 2017

March OMG

I'm obsessed with piecing this top right now so I decided to make it my March OMG. I hope to bring it to a completed quilt top.

I bought the partially assembled quilt from an estate sale last year. All the stripsets were made and some of the cutting was done. There are ninepatches and an eight patch. I'm assembling the last of the eight patches now.

The pattern can be found in the June 2007 issue of McCalls quilting.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts OMG March goal setting linkup.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February OMG Finished

I snuck it in under the wire. It's been quilted all month I just had to bind it. It's 42" square and #3 on my UFO list.

It used about 3 yards of fabric. Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the finishers linkup. This is also a Q1 FAL goal.



Chronicles of Sandra Saturation Point and the Evil Pile

I looked back through my texts to see that I began this journey with Sandra on February 8th. I thought I had been working with her longer. Since that first day she has always had this huge stack of paper to her right. She has an end table there that is stacked pretty high and there was a pile on the floor almost to the same level. Each time I go over there I look at that evil pile to see if it's getting any smaller.

Yesterday that pile struck a nerve. I waited for Sandra to get out of her chair and when she did I immediately sat there and started sorting the pile on the floor. I put things into three categories. Quilting, important papers and other items. I removed the quilting items and put them with the others that she needs to go through. I found a basket full of other reading material under that stack and left it as it was. The stack on the end table is still there and will be addressed when I go over tomorrow. The evil pile will be no more!

I've been working on the guest bedroom for two days now. The first day I cleared the entry into the door. This space is outside the room like a small alcove. I grabbed the first thing inside the room and decided I was done for the day.

Yesterday Sandra's best friend Linda went with me. I grabbed whatever was closest to the door and if it was fabric only I took it to the stash room. All other things I took to the living room where Linda and I sorted with Sandra. I got to the point where all I saw was a sea of fabric in there. The stash room is full. I felt so lost and overwhelmed. I just stopped. I'm at the point where I'm going to have to junk up areas that I had cleared out previously. So frustrating.

My plan is to bring Nate over with me tomorrow. He's going to help me haul everything out of that room so we can clean. The fabric will go to the stash room and more than likely be stacked in front of the door. Everything else I will make a decision on on a case-by-case basis. We are definitely at the point where things have got to start going out the door to make room. I think we are at the saturation point. Let's hope Sandra is ready to start letting go of a lot more.

Meet Mr. Lucky.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Design Wall Monday February 27

I posted a picture of a layout for my 3D bow ties on Facebook and my cousin suggested that I make a swirly pattern. I laid the blocks out as she suggested and showed more pictures. While I was at it I tried another more unified layout. Of course she didn't like her suggested layouts and liked the more unified one.

I'm not sure how many blocks I would need to make a king size. I'm on the fence as to how big I will go.

Linking to Patchworktimes Design Wall Monday.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra Bringing in the Big Guns

I have been at Sandra's house every day this week except Tuesday. Today I brought in the big guns. Nick and Nate are kids in our neighborhood that are friends with my kids. They are 21 and 19 respectively. I had a lot of heavy lifting that I wanted to get done in a short period of time so I asked them if they wanted to earn a few bucks. They took all the fabric that she had in her stash outside. They were supposed to vacuum and then stick it all back in there in a way that it would be accessible by an aisle in between. Before they did this Sandra had asked them to pull the tubs of fabric off of her back patio. The way that she talked I thought there were only three big tubs. There were an additional 20 to 30 small tubs. She also had them pull out the tub's that had the quilting magazines in them and she told me she wanted to give those to people at the sit and sew and members of the guild.

They brought all the fabric from the patio out into the backyard and the magazines into the house. I was shocked and overwhelmed at the amount of fabric that she had on the patio and that I was now going to try and get into her house and her stash area. Things got lost in translation and before I knew it the guys were putting everything into the stash room without having cleaned out as I had asked. I had them back up a little bit and rearrange things. We were not able to make the aisle as I had requested but the smaller containers are more accessible and also the boxes and other open items are closer to the front so that I can get to them and get them sorted and stored properly.

Once everything was off the patio and the patio was straightened up the guys came in and helped me with some heavy lifting. Sandra also has a request for them and they took care of those things for her as well. I should've gotten all those magazines out to my car because before I did Sandra was going through them and looking at every one. She promised that she would get through them quickly so that the remainder could get taken out of the house quickly. In all fairness she did manage to pull out quite a few and send those with me before I left.

A recurring topic of discussion for Sandra is her desire to have her living room looking more presentable so that when she has company people don't have to look over the stuff that is stacked on top of the card table. While the guys were working so hard to get the patio straightened out and the fabric moved around I was inside getting that table cleared off. I managed to get the table taken down and the guys put it out on the patio for Sandra. There were a lot of lids for missing containers and empty containers with no lids. I left them there so that when their mate shows up I will be able to find it. Her son-in-law is the executor of her will and always comments about her home and its contents. I was mainly getting that task accomplished for both their sake so that he could see that she was making progress. The living room will continue to be our sorting location but it will look less disastrous now.

What the two guys and I accomplished today in 2 and a half hours would have taken me weeks to do alone. Sandra paid them for their time and I'm very appreciative of them and let them know that.

There is one room that remains that I have not gotten into yet. It is her guestroom and was previously her daughters room. I'm not sure what all is in there but I have to get through the door first. I'm planning to go over there while my boyfriend watches NASCAR tomorrow and begin that process.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chain Piecing

I'm working on a quilt that requires close to 300 9 patches. Chain piecing will be my way of life for the next little bit.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra the catch up post

I have now been to Sandras about seven times with each visit lasting between 2 to 3 1/2 hours. We know that we've made good progress but to anyone else they would not be able to see it. While that is very disappointing she is very motivated to keep going.

I don't want to take away from the people that have helped her in the past. I had one person come up and speak to me yesterday and tell me what she dealt with to help Sandra. There was quite a mess and she did clean up a lot of trash so that I did have a better environment to work in than what I would have if she had not helped. Those helps were quick and dirty and very short term to help Sandra get back into her home after her rehab. But now we're going for the long-term goal of getting through everything and trying to really clean up the clutter. It didn't get like this in a day and it won't get better in a day either.

On my last visit I managed to get her hallway totally cleaned out except for her decorative tissue box. It sits on a pedestal. I teased her that we would have to put a spotlight on that to highlight it. It makes me laugh every time I encounter a tissue box. I think there's at least one in every room, sometimes two. I'm thankful for those because I find myself with a drippy runny nose from dust. It took me two or three visits to clear the hallway with one visit focusing on getting everything to one side of the hall so that there was less of a trip hazard. She proudly exclaimed that she felt like she was in a hotel with her wide open hallway. That made me smile.

On one visit I managed to clear out the clutter from in front of both of her bedroom closet's. There's no telling the last time she was able to get in there to hang up her clothes. But now that she can get in there she has been hanging her things up. We just need to sort her clothes out and get her to let go of some of the things that she no longer wears to make room for everything. Her closets are full with other things as well both at the top and the bottom but I'm not going to worry about those right now. I'm currently excavating the pile of things on the floor at the foot of her bed so that she can get to her dresser and put things away properly. When I was last there she and I agreed that we really need to focus on finishing one room and that her bedroom was the most doable. We are going to focus on that room before digging deeper into some of the other rooms. Last time I was there I left a few things stacked on her bed in hopes that she would work on it when I wasn't there. She said she was not able to get through everything so she just climbed in bed with the stacks. I really did not want to do that to her so I may have to rethink that strategy. I saw her last night at the quilt guild meeting and she was proudly wearing a pair of the pants that I had found. She's been hanging her things up instead of hanging them on doors around the house. I can really see the difference. She told me that she's trying to develop good habits to keep our good work in evidence.

On other visits I managed to get the doorway opened up to both her long arm room and her sewing room. It's just a goat path for now but at least we can get in there when it's time to work on those rooms. I am putting things in there as she directs me and if I have space for it.

I've tried to work on the kitchen a little bit more since the second visit. She stages a lot of things in there to go out to storage or to trash. I can see that things are piling up a little bit and I just think that's an indication of not having a place to put things. I'll have to pick at it here and there as we go to try and keep it from getting really piled up like it was before.

I was supposed to go over there today but she asked me to wait because the stacks of paper have really piled up that she needs to sort through and she wants to try and get ahead of me. I may still go over there and work on areas where there is no paper to try and keep making progress and give her a little company.

Her cat Mr. Lucky is 16 years old. He has not been too happy with me in the house moving things around. Every time I go into her bedroom he gives me a hateful glare and has even growled at me. He's always begging for Sandra's attention but from what I've heard that's a normal thing. Sandra has said that he's a little bit more unsettled than usual. I really don't have a lot of cat experience but I know that he's a little hard of hearing and probably has a vision problem. I'm moving his landmarks which is probably making him upset. I'll keep trying to make friends with Mr. Lucky.

So that's the update. I've been chauffeuring her donation pile in my car and will be dropping it off today. I'll update you as we accomplish our milestones. If you're curious feel free to ask. I'll pass your well wishes on to Sandra in her endeavors.



Monday, February 20, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra part two

Let me tell you a little bit more about Sandra. She lost her husband about 15 years ago. Not long after that she lost her daughter to cancer. Each of these times she has used shopping as her therapy. Then fast forward to two years ago when her her son contracted cancer. He fought it with the usual radiation and chemo and then also had to experience some pretty terrible surgeries.

About one year ago Sandra fell in her backyard. She landed on her head when she lost balance trying to take trash out to the curb. She broke two vertebrae in her neck. She managed to get up, get into the house, and call 911. Amazingly she did not experience any paralysis but had to go through rehab for many months. When it was time for her to come home friends came over to clean. They threw away a lot of things and also bagged up a lot of things and then just tossed them into any open room. It was at this time that I heard her talking about not being able to find anything and about the help that she had received. I think this explains why I needed to gain her trust before she would allow me to come to her home. Sadly her son lost his battle with cancer after she returned home. The shopping therapy continued.

When I was with Sandra the first day we talked about her goals. She simply wanted her living room to be presentable. I explained to her that that was the area where we would be sorting things and that it would be pretty hard to do at first. I told her that I wanted to be sure that whenever I left I had tidied up the area so there would be no trip hazards from our work of the day.

On my return for the second visit Sandra greeted me at the door and announced to me that I had chosen what we worked on the first day so now it was her turn. She wanted to clean off her kitchen table and pull a chair out from behind it that someone had put there while cleaning last year.

The table was not totally clear but it was down to a single layer and I managed to categorize things for her so that she could put them away as she went along.

One of my main concerns after leaving the first day was that she would not work on anything and simply would wait for me to return to continue with decluttering. I was very pleased to see that she had been working and had bagged up quite a bit of trash and also had a small stack of items that could be given away. It appeared that she had the concept of goalsetting down now and I expected her to continue with that with each visit.

It was during this visit that I discovered that there was another bedroom that I was not aware of. I looked into that room after I figured out where the light was and felt overwhelmed. I knew this was a room that would have to be addressed later on because to get into the door is going to take a while.

Sandra had made lunch for me on the first day and this day as well. She made the same thing on both days. It was chicken salad and cinnamon raisin bread with grapes. She served Doritos with it. When I saw her putting it together I was worried about what it was going to taste like. Surprisingly it was pretty good. I told one of my friends about it and she made the same face that I had made internally in my head.

This visit was a little shorter than the first one and we agreed to meet again the following week. My next reports will combine many of the days that I have spent with her as all those times are starting to merge together as one in my memory.

Until next time.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chronicles of Sandra

I have an 81 year old friend named Sandra. I have known her for many years but have learned a lot about her more recently. I've heard her talk about how she can't do anything because she has so much stuff. You see, Sandra is a self proclaimed hoarder.

I offered to help her for many months. She declined all my offers. Separately she had told stories of others helping her in the past. Mostly throwing things away without regard to her feelings or just throwing them into one of the spare bedrooms making them totally inaccessible.

At some point she stopped saying no and started saying things like oh my house is a mess I need to clean it up first. She even asked me why I wanted to help her fearing I wanted to take her treasured fabric. I told her I had similar issues of too much stuff in the past and wanted to share what I had learned and to help her be able to get back to her sewing machine. I finally said I wanted to come visit her, not her house. She agreed to my visit.

I arrived on the appointed day. She greeted me at the door and let me in. I had no idea what to expect but had heard talk.

The entry was very inviting. No clutter. I could not tell she had a cat as there was no litter box odor. I stepped into her living room and saw two card tables stacked with stuff. There were things piled underneath as well. She had totebags around her full of paper and who knows what.

I took a seat across from her in the only other open chair. We talked a little and I told her my history of too much stuff. She shared her story and basically told me that shopping for fabric was her therapy. It was the only thing that made her feel good. I told her she was probably going to have to let go of some things to be able to make headway. She teared up and nodded her understanding. I told her it was an option that I not help her. She paused and then asked where I wanted to start.

i asked her if I could take a peek through her house to see what I was dealing with. There were things stacked along both sides of the hallway. The kitchen table was piled high. Her sewing room door was piled with stuff. The guest bathroom was clean and free of clutter. Her bed was clear but things were stacked at the foot and the far side. Both of her closets were blocked by piles of stuff. She uses her master bath for storage and things are piled along the walls. The entry into the bathroom was blocked.

I went back to my seat in the living room. She asked me where I wanted to start and I suggested her clothes because that seems to be something with less emotional attachment. She made many excuses. I reminded her I didn't have to do anything but she wanted my help.

I went and sat on the floor in front of her chair. I just started dumping bags on the floor dealing with the contents as we went. There were a lot of papers only she could deal with and I put them in her stacks. I sorted things into other categories using boxes and bags she had under the table. Grouping like items will allow us to deal with them as a whole later on. After a few hours we had a few bags of trash and a small giveaway pile.

I left after we setup our next meeting. I took the bags of trash and giveaway items not knowing if she would go through them and retrieve items. It will be a long road but I think I can make a difference.

To be continued...


Crossroads and 3D Bow ties

I've been working all week on a BOM that I participated in at my LQS last year. I'm generally not a fan of them but this one really caught my attention. I think I managed to do last year was to cut a few pieces but I never started sewing on it. This week I cut out and pieced 12 3 inch finished churn dash blocks. I have assembled those into the center section of the quilts and I'm ready to start adding the rest of the borders.

It is not pressed in this picture but it has been since then and looks really good. I can't wait to get this quilt finished.

Last year I bought several UFOs from an estate sale of one of our guild members. One of them was a red and white 3-D bowtie quilt. There were about 80 blocks complete and another 25 or so that were partially assembled. I finished sewing those together and begin playing with a layout. I welcome any suggestions for other possible layouts.

I'm linking with WIPs be gone. I've never linked with them before and I'm hoping I'll learn what their mission is. It would seem to me its to finish quilts.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wanderlust is a Flimsy!

What's a flimsy? An unquilted top.

I've been piecing this quilt almost exclusively since December 1st. At first I was pushing,almost forcing, myself to keep going. Once I got the blocks done I said I was going to take a break from it. Next thing I knew I was making the border blocks and assembling those borders. I attached the borders today.

I took this class from Bonnie Hunter at Fabric Fanatics in Plano Texas at New Year's 2014. My mother had passed away seven months previous to this. When the fabric requirement email came out I decided I was going to make this quilt from my mothers stash. Everything except the black and orange batik came from her fabric. It include Christmas, pumpkins, batiks and Civil War plus many brights.

it was fun to sew with my mother again in a way. Can you believe this is mostly from her small pieces and scraps?

I'm linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!


Monday, February 06, 2017

February OMG

I did not get my January goal completed. It's sitting on the frame and was just too much for me to handle. The quilting plan was a little more complex than I expected but I plan to get back to it this month and try and get it finished up.

This month I'm going to tackle something a little bit more doable since it's a short month. I had quilted this last month and never got around to binding it so my goal for February is to put the binding on my Hugs and Kisses by Dorothy Young of a pocket full of mysteries. The binding is even already made. There is no excuse!

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wanderlust Obsession

I am a woman possessed. I'm like a dog with a bone. I've had my nose to the grindstone.

All the blocks for the center of the quilt are done. I have 3 of 5 columns assembled. Will I pause there to get the quilting done on my challenge quilt. I'll see what tomorrow brings.

48 birds in the air blocks in that border. I might need a break.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wanderlust Progress

I'm trying to spend time on some of my longer term UFOs that require a lot of piecing. I quilt one here and there for my UFO challenge on Stashbuster to keep me from becoming queen.

I need 28 big blocks and 4 half blocks. Then when those are done I have to piece 48 blocks for the pieced border. 7 are done and a dozen are ready for the final assembly step. To finish the last 10 or so I have to cut more black fabric. I'll probably finish those that are ready for final assembly then skip to quilting something else.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Second Finish for FAL Q1

I finished this little 12x18 topper tonight. Blocks were adopted from Grace.

This used a total of a half yard of fabric and will be donated to my guilds mini auction held at the quilt show in June.

This is my second finish for the 2017 Q1 FAL goals.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017


There are two acronyms that are used regularly on the Yahoo group Stashbuster. WITB stands for what's in the box or bag or basket. It is meant to be a decluttering/organization challenge. One of the ladies on the list has 222 bins that she wants to go through. She is working towards a goal of one a week planning to toss or rehome or use the contents. Quite a few of us picked up on this challenge and are working similarly. Not all my B's are quilt related but I may share a few of the quilt related ones from time to time.

I had these three bins sitting next to the door of my sewing room.

I peeked inside all three. Two are projects I bought fabric for and want to make soon. The third had fabric leftover from a quilt top that is now a flimsy. That fabric was intended for the binding but due to miscuts there is not enough. There were some other bits in there. It's all put away or thrown away and I have an empty project bin. Wish they'd all be this easy!

The other acronym is WAYWO which means what are you working on? I thought I'd show my next little project up on the block. This is made from orphan blocks that I got from Grace and are now a top. I have it laid out here selecting thread for quilting and trying to decide on a quilting pattern for it. I plan to donate this to the Mesquite Quilt guild for their miniature silent auction at the next quilt show in June.

I'm thinking about a 1 inch grid crosshatch at the moment. I'll think about it for just a little bit longer before I begin. My other thoughts were to outline stitch around the churndash but the thought of the crosshatch pleases me.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Finish of 2017

I managed to finish my second bag today. Each bag uses around 3.25 yards of fabric and a little elastic. This is the Fatt Quarter bag on All Free Sewing.

On this one I used full yardage rather than cutting as the pattern suggests. The red is French General Joyeux Noel. I love the fabric. The inside is a gold snake print. The pairing just made me smile.

Here is the first bag.

This is my first UFO Finish and one of my goals for the first quarter FAL for 2017.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Best Laid Plans

I announced to you all that I was going to quickly finish up the second bag. Right after that post I went to bed and started coughing. I got up and searched for the elastic for the second bag while sucking on a cough drop. I tried going back to bed but would just cough. I ended up staying up until 3 am and was able to fall asleep purely from exhaustion. Sadly I have pretty much been in bed with the crud since then.

Friday my son took me to the doc where I received a steroid shot and antibiotics. By that evening I actually felt hungry and sat up for an hour. Today I still have an appetite and have eaten well. I've been awake more today but still in bed. I got up for a few hours to eat and watch tv. I got a crazy idea to go sew on that bag. What I should have completed in 15 minutes took well over an hour. I also broke into a sweat doing this. I'll try again tomorrow but in shorter spurts.

I'm aiming for a shower tomorrow too. If you don't hear from me send out a search party!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Partial UFO Finish

One of my UFOs is listed as two FQ Bags. It is a free pattern from All Free Sewing and can be found here. I had constructed the body of the bags last year and left all the fussy work. Inserting elastic, top stitching, handle/strap making. Now that this one is done the second will go together much more quickly.

I'm going to stick with the other bag until it's done and not jump to something else.

Watch this space for my first UFO finish!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Turquoise Happy Blocks

Some years ago, probably 5 or more, I was at Tirane's house. She was working on a quilt and it was too long for the backing she had so she ripped the bottom row off. I asked her what she planned to do with it. I don't recall the ensuing conversation exactly but I am pretty sure I asked for them. I love turquoise!

Fast forward. I had pretty much forgotten these in my orphan bin. When I did bump into them I didn't really think about doing anything with them. Last year a friend mentioned she was decorating her sewing room in turquoise and black. Insert bright lightbulb here...ding!!💡

Last night I started sorting things in my sewing room trying to locate the row of blocks. My daughter moved out so I now also have a stash room. I have moved quite a bit in there and have been grouping and sorting things. This activity has kept me from buying fabric this year. 👀😳 I digress. By moving things out I was able to unearth the blocks.

Last night I unpicked the row and pressed the blocks.

Today I pulled some black out of the stash and cut it up. I joined it with the turquoise blocks. This is what I will be quilting and giving to her.

I hope she likes it. Two UFOs brought to top stage in two days! I'll get back to Wanderlust but needed some variety in my sewing.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

More Wanderlust

This is not a quick block to assemble. I have gone through and made all the components that I could make ahead except for maybe a few for the half blocks. This does not include the borders which will require a lot of piecing as well. If you look at the black goose you will see that each wing is a different color. In order to assemble this block I have to lay it all out, make the black geese, and then make the block. I wanted to get further along on this one because I don't want to get caught with an intensive piecing project while I'm in the UFO challenge and not have a finish.

I'm going to start working on other things in between to have a little variety in my life. Here is a little table runner that I am making using the orphan blocks I inherited from Grace. I'm going to use that French General pictured for both the backing and the binding which have both been cut. I need to just quilt and bind to complete it.

Consider this a sneak peek until I finish it.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Wanderlust Scrapping

I've been diligently working on my Wanderlust quilt. As of Christmas Day I needed 67 more units. I thought that I would be able to get through them quickly but it looks like it took me three weeks to make them. I wondered why it took so long because I made a good number of them in just the past few days. I had to go back and read through my blog to see what I had been up to.

Happily I found that I had been accomplishing quite a bit. I quilted two quilts. I bound two quilts. I loaded another quilt on my frame and had started working on that as well. There has also been a lot of cleaning and organizing around here that has not been shown on the blog but it definitely accounts for a lot of my time.

With that said I'm now ready to start assembling my blocks for my quilt. I do need 48 more units that look very similar to the birds in the air block that I just completed but those should go pretty quickly.

A lot of this quilt has come from my mothers scrap basket. I'm linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday.


Monday, January 09, 2017

First Quarter 2017 Finish Along

Rhonda at Rhonda's Ramblings hosts a Finish Along each quarter. You link to her blog, or one of the other hostesses, with a post about your proposed finishes.

My goal this year is to be a finisher. There are two UFO challenges I participate in. To prepare for those I listed 12 I really wanted to get finished this year. Those will be the main focus of this quarter along with some smaller items.

1 Strip Stacks - purple borders
2 Strip Stacks - red border
3 Hugs and Kisses

4 tumbler

5 4 patch on point - black green pink

6 Avignon Picnic

7 Matchstick Marimba
8 Strip Stacks - green and pink

9 Renee's navy top
10 Nancie's Floral and White Blocks

11 Pieced together contest

12 Pink Poppy BQ

13 FQ bags x2
14 Bandana shirt
15 Grace's Churndash
16 Turquoise blocks
17 Ricci's quilt

18 -? Find and quilt all the charity quilts I have lingering here

The first 12 require quilting. The next five are in the piecing stage. The last ? Require quilting.

Wish me luck!


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Ruler Work

I got a ruler base and some rulers at Christmas for my Avante. I did straight line quilting and some freehand on one of my UFOs.

Now I'm trying to quilt circles. They are so wobbly but by the time I get to the 30th one I should have it down!

I'm operating under the done is better than perfect principle.