Judy L's UFO Challenge

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We have a finish! I took a class to learn a quilt as you go process. The quilt was to be a denim and flannel log cabin. When I took the class I enjoyed all the techinques shared and the other tips I learned. When I dug this UFO out I had fully intended to make a throw quilt out of it. As I studied the block I realized the amount of work that would go into doing that. I was not really big on lots of hand work. I cut my plan back to just make 3 more blocks and make a table topper. Even doing that did not excite me. So the block and I had a little chat. It told me "Just bind me, I want to be a hot pad." So there you have it. My second UFO finish of the year.

Next up? I will be binding my King Log Cabin that I got back from my friend a few weeks back. Onward!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I picked up my new machines Friday afternoon. I called ahead to make sure they knew I was coming. I picked up DD and then went to the store. They had everything ready and the sales lady was demo'ing to another lady so we loaded the machines while she finished up. She knew what I needed to see and called us over when she got to that point in her demo. We just needed to see winding bobbins and threading the machines. She was great. Showed us what we wanted to see and a little more. I bought extra bobbins for DD and me. I know how I am and use lots of them. DD suggested I just pull all the thread off the bobbin instead of the spares. I do that when I am at the end of the bobbin but not when it is full. I am happy with the extras.

DD and I headed to Starbucks and talked a little then went home. I went into my quilt chat room and everyone asked if I had sewn yet. They ribbed me since everything was still out in the car. I finally left the room and brought it all in. I loaded it on the dining table since I was not prepared to set it up in my sewing room yet. I had to finish my current project on my old machine. I didn't want to relearn on the new one. When I finished I folded the old machine down into the cabinet.

It was a strange feeling to put this machine away since I knew it was because my primary machine was now taking a backseat to the new one. I am happy to have the new machine but I have history with the old one. My mother bought this machine when I was very young. She can't remember exactly when. I have many memories of mom using this machine. Sometime before I married she bought a newer machine with fancy stitches on it. When I married and was getting ready to move she told me I could take her old machine. I remember it sitting in my apartment and then moving to the house. I can't recall how much I used it but about 4 years later I became interested in quilting and really put it to work. It has been a very good machine. I just want to do all sorts of new techniques and this machine doesn't have specialty stitches and is hard to fit for new feet. Both my mother and husband are pressuring me about what I plan to do with it. My plan of course is to keep it. It is funny since I also have MIL's machine, never have used it and he hasn't pressured me to get rid of that one.

So the new machine. I played with it for a little while Saturday night to get the tension set and try the different stitches. I feel like I have a decent feel for the machine now. The next day I pieced a backing which required a simple straight stitch. Next I sewed a binding onto a UFO, again a straight stitch but used my 1/4" foot and sewed through several thicknesses. So far so good. When I finish my hand sewing on that binding I will then bind another UFO on the machine. To do this I definately need to get the machine setup in a better place than what I have now.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I did sew last night. I have 2.5 colors done. Have other committments tonight but will try to get through the green. Half way through the three blocks on the green and it is a fast sew. The block can be seen here.

Puppy Update:

The dogs, except for a light cough for Augie and Pepper, seem to be well now. I have read that the cough just takes time to go away. We are giving them cough syrup twice a day when we remember. Usually if they are coughing a lot we remember, otherwise.... So nice to see our little girl Pepper barking and playing again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A little bit stuck. Shifting gears is one of the hardest things for me to do. I was wailing away at the UFOs but knew I had to stop on those to work on some swap blocks that need embroidery on them. I don't want to stop working on my UFOs.... So I pull out the blocks and start the embroidery. I have conversations in my head that go something like this..... "I wonder if I should just wait until I get my new machine. It is better equiped for this sort of work. No I better do it I need to get these out to the ladies. I have been promising them for over a month now. " Then the interruptions of conference calls for work taken from home. I have to keep motivating myself to get back in there.

I have four thread colors to do and was planning to do at least one a day. I did almost two the first day then none the next two days. Come on girl get back in there! Tonight I don't know of anything that will interrupt my sewing time. Someone made some suggestions to me so I will make a practice piece real quick to see how it goes. If that works out well I will try to get through the third color tonight.

When these are done I have some other items I have been promising. A pair of fleece socks and two ear flap hats (knit). Weather is getting too warm for these but I should just get them out of the way. The socks I can get out of the way in about an hour or so. The hats I can work on in front of tv when I want to watch my shows and can't sew anyhow. Am I your classic procrastinator? :D

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Buy Week at the Dallas Quilt Show.

The fabric plan:
- Daisy fabric
- Fuschia fabric
- Coordinates from Dick and Jane Fabric Line
- Backing for Irish Chain Quilt
- Backing for the 12 Days of Christmas quilt
- Vintage fabric to restore the Seven Sisters top

The fabric reality:
- Daisy fabric
- Fuschia fabric
- Coordinates from Dick and Jane Fabric Line
- Backing for Irish Chain Quilt
- Vintage fabric to restore the Seven Sisters top
- Fabric for dd to make a brights quilt including backing
- Fabric for dd to make a gerber daisy quilt including the backing
- Sanctuary Jelly roll
- Green marbled fabric with gold dragonflies for a gift
- Hummingbird fabric

I went to the Dallas show on Friday and spent the entire day there visiting every vendor. I thought I would be able to find at least one vendor with Christmas fabric. If it was there I didn't find it. I even test drove a Husqavarna sewing machine and the fabric mover. The sales people were very high pressure and the person showing me the machine had several issues. The machine was not selling itself to me. I also test drove a Janome 4900QC. I went for the purpose of looking at the Janome JEM and asked about the next machine up. I sewed a little and asked some questions. I liked the machine and decided to talk to dh about it. I am glad that I did as I recalled the discussions on the 6500 and 6600 models. When I left that day I had made all my planned purchases with the exception of the 12 Days backing and the vintage fabric for my restoration project.

I went back to the show the next day. This time I took dd and met up with some friends from quiltchat. That day my goal was to photograph all the quilts I liked. I did that, saw the Alzheimers exhibit and saw a special exhibit of gorgeous quilts that were purchased at garage sales, antique stores and even found in the trash. DD and I had something to drink so she could rest. 12 yo's don't like all that walking at a quilt show. We went back to the Janome dealer so that I could ask about the other two models and made a decision. I had almost talked myselk out of buying a new machine. I asked for a comparison between the 4900 and the 6500. Then a comparison of the 6500 and the 6600. I decided the extra for the 6600 was not worth it to me. I test drove the 6500 and asked lots of questions. I sat and thought a bit and asked if they would "give" me a rolling bag for the machine. They would not agree to it. She agreed to give me a spool of YLI thread. I saw the owner and asked him if he would give me the bag. After a little negotiation we agreed to $100, less than his cost. I was psyched. While the gal was writing up my order I asked her about a good starter machine for my dd. She pointed out the Hello Kitty machine. I didn't want that. She pointed out two Jem's. I was looking at one I think was the Gold and she said for the money she would get the Platinum 720, so I did. I told dd this would be her primary machine but my class machine when I took one. She agreed. They asked me to swing by the shop to pick up the machines since I was local. I get them this Saturday since the Jem won't be in until Friday. I am really excited!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It’s official. All my UFOs are now at the top stage. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I got my King size Log Cabin back from the longarmer today. I will bind that next since it is a gift for someone’s birthday in April.

I am off to the Dallas show tomorrow and Saturday. Plan to meet up with old friends and some new. I will be using this as my buy week and have several planned fabric purchases. Will show you the loot when I am done!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another UFO topped! I added the borders tonight. The weekend was crazy with internet and tv service messed up for 24 hours. I did manage to sash it and just got the borders on. Next step on the UFOs is to add borders to the Irish Chain. My goal is by Thursday to have that topped!

Stashbuster WEBRING Topic of the Week.

What is your oldest UFO? The oldest UFO that I made with my own two hands is my King size log cabin. I have purchased 4 tops that are from the 70's or before, 3 of which I plan to quilt. They are the "oldest" but not of my doing ;).

Why did it become a UFO? When I stopped working on this quilt it lacked the borders. I can't specifically recall why I put it down. I am sure something else came along. Then the intended recipients divorced. There was no urgency to get back to it at that point. I didn't know anyone else with a king bed!

What are my plans to finish it? I sent it off to be quilted by my friend Beth in MD. She finished quilting it last night and is sending it back so I can bind it and send it to someone for a birthday present.

How many UFOs do you have? I have 9. 4 I purchased from someone else. 2 I made just last year. With the addition of borders to two tops all my UFOs will be in the quilting stage.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Found a fix. One of my 12 Days swap blocks was 1/2" too small. I had to find a solution and had an idea to add fabric to two sides to give an attic window effect. I started searching for a fabric to use and saw the scraps from my Rail Fence I quilted in December. It was a great coordinate. I layed it next to the block and decided to just frame the block with it. There will be a very narrow border that will give it a picture frame effect. I planned to sew it last night but was too tired. Hope to add it tonight and get my pressing done. Then I can finish the top for the quilt! Then onto my search for a backing! Pictures tomorrow. I promise.

Augie, the puppy is hardly sneezing now. He is almost well. Pepper feels better but is still coughing and sneezing. I am hoping she will turn the corner on that in the next few days. We are losing sleep as her fits wake us up and keep us up several times a night. Now Jack is hurting. He cries getting up and down or if someone bumps into him. We are giving him aspirin and watching to see if a vet visit is in order. Hard to watch him get older!

Monday, March 05, 2007

A very productive weekend! I went to JoAnn's to buy more cotton thread. They were having a 50% off sale on thread for two days. The first store I went to did not have the grey I wanted so I went to a second store Friday night. They didn't have the grey but had a neutral. As I was checking out with my thread I saw a flier on the counter. It had 2 coupons, one for 50% off a cut of fabric and one for 40% off any regular priced item. I took it with me and started calculating my backing needs for my remaining UFOs. I intended to go back and shop for backings on Saturday since that was the expiration date on the coupons.

Saturday I got up and went about my day. I took the last two dogs to the vet. 1 ear infection and 1 well dog. Both got their vaccines so no return visits for them. I got my chores under way and then ended back in bed with a sore back and heating pad. When I got up everyone was hungry so I took care of feeding them. I can't really recall what I did the rest of the day but did wait until just before 8 to go back to JoAnns. They close at 9. I got up there and found a backing for my Simple Simon. I had navy in mind and found a nice navy with tan paisley. Very old fashioned looking. Just what I wanted! I had a fall leaf pattern in mind for the backing of my Chain of Events. I looked but this is the wrong time of year for that fabric. Hubby found an orange that had an all over leaf pattern. I went with that but am not sure I will stay with it. I found a great green for my Irish Chain but needed 9 yards and they only had 6. I was tempted to buy it and then try to find the other 3 yards I needed at another store. I decided not to risk trying to match dye lots. So I have two more backings now and only need two more.

Sunday I got up and finally put cutter to fabric. I have all my borders cut for my Irish Chain. I will have to piece them then cut them to length once I press the top. I also cut the sashing for my 12 Days top after squaring up my blocks. These blocks are from an exchange and one of them is 12 inches square when the rest are 12.5. I couldn't cut them all to 12" since some were pieced and it wouldn't have worked. I am thinking of trimming the 12" block even further and adding 2 strips to give it an attic windows effect. Of course now I have to find the fabric to do it with first. And people want to know why I have UFOs?? In spite of this teeny setback I did add sashing to the blocks that were correctly sized and have two of the three rows pieced together. I have started sewing the long sashing strips to these rows as well and have one more I can add before I have to deal with that naughty block. I could have sewn that one on but the kids were clamoring for my attention so I shut down for the night.

Doggy update: Two healthy dogs. 1 with an ear infection but he has meds. I give drops twice a day and he is somewhat cooperative about this since he gets a nice long rub on his ears which then leads to the rest of him. 2 have been wormed. Vet says we will have to redose in 4 months so I guess I can count them as healthy. 2 have kennel cough and have finished their antibiotics. The puppy still has a snotty nose so he gets another course of antibiotics. We have not seen Pepper's nose run but we can hear the congestion rattling in her head. She hardly eats and was up coughing all night. The vet considered giving her a steroid shot the first visit but due to the other dogs in the house was hesitant to do so. Now that he has seen all of them and knows what we are dealing with he is giving her a shot this afternoon along with another course of antibiotics. The steroids should help her bounce back quickly. We hope so. I have never felt so sorry for a dog before. Not sleeping or eating well. Mpre to come!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Favorite Tool and Reflections on January and February. I am not sure that I have a favorite tool but I do love tools. I hate marking things because I can never get the markings out easily or it doesn't mark very well and wastes my time and frustrates me. I am not sure if someone referred me to this but I bought a chacoliner. It looks like a little lipstick tube and has either white, pink or blue chalk in it. It is also refillable. I bought the white and have used it to mark my crazy quilt stocking and then my peacock quilt. The markings stay there just fine even when they are sewn over and then they simply wash or wipe away. I highly recommend you check one out if you need a better marking tool.

Reflections. I saw Kim mention her accomplishments from the previous month and loved that idea. I plan to do this each month going forward. On the finishing front. I managed to finish my Peacock quilt and keep it for myself. I got my King size log cabin sent off to be quilted. I hope to see it in the next week or so to bind it and send it off to the recipient for her birthday. I did buy fabric but it is the backing for two of my quilts that need quilting. I am part of the "No Buy" challenge on the stashbuster yahoogroup and these are legal buys. I also managed to get the center of my Floral Irish Chain quilt pieced. I had hoped for several finishes in the month of February but it just was not meant to be. Progress was definitely made in that direction!