Judy L's UFO Challenge

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Road to Brenham Sew Along

Judy L is starting her sew along of Road to Brenham tomorrow. I have been eagerly awaiting the start of this quilt. I wanted to make it completely from stash and can do so but maybe not in the colors that I wanted to use.

I really want to do it in the colorway that Judy shows but lack about 3/
4 of a yard of the yellow. My other option is to go with the orange.


1) start with the yellow I have and make do for the border that calls for yellow. I am looking to see if I can find another piece of that yellow.

2) buy a new piece of yellow.

3) just use the orange and get over it.

I have explored swapping with someone for a large enough piece of yellow but most people don't have that big of a piece. I WANT to buy more but I SHOULD use what I have. I can't start when Judy kicks this off so I will have to see where I am when I can start.

What would you do?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Orca Bay Love

This is what is on my design wall.  I had been gifted lots of extra hour glass blocks and parts.  I think I had 187 of them to start.  I decided to look for something to do with them and happened to have Bonnie Hunter's latest book in my hand.  I landed on Pfeffernuse.  The onlly issue is my hour glass blocks are 2.5" and the pattern calls for 3.5".  I am going to make the quilt using these and just make a lap/throw size.  I am also going to lengthen it so I will need 336 total.  I have more made and need an additional 100 with pieces made for about half of those.

On July 6th I completed my second Orca Bay top.  Shown here is the first one completed over a year ago.

Here is the second one just completed.

Here they are side by side.  If you really study them you will see that I used an alternate layout for #2.  The red triangles with wings are accentuating the white block in the second one making the black color more saturated.  Also, all the color really makes the black pop too.

Head on over to Judy L's to see what is on everyone else's design wall.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Play Date

I had a play date Sunday!  I was invited to go to Laurie's to play on her longarm.  I brought tops, backings and batting to play.  We decided Laurie would go first as the first top is intended for Renee's grandson and we wanted it done right.  We then decided Renee would go second and I third.

We watched Laurie work her magic and got our hands in there a little too to try and learn for our turn.  Half way through, the thread started breaking and ultimatly we could hear the machine sliding and stitches were not forming.  Laurie nursed the machine through the first top and then we loaded the second hoping it would go more smoothly.  If did not.  But all was not lost.

While Laurie fiddled I rifled through her project boxes, her stash, her bags of stuff here there and everywhere.  Renne and Laurie couldn't help but laugh at me.  I found Laurie's Orca Bay in progress and corrected a few Ohio stars with Renee's help.  That involved a seam ripper and my playing on Laurie's Janome 6600. 

Once the two errant blcoks were repaired I then pawed through the other projects to see if there was something else Laurie needed help on.  I didn't sew anything else for her but moved to her stash and looked that over then found the pile of orphan blocks.  Those were fun to look at!  She has some nice little projects in there I think.

What captured my attention for the remainder of the date was a bag of scraps she had under her longarm that needed to be sorted and pressed.  Renee sorted out the too small for pet beds and I pressed the rest.  We saved selvedges in a separate pile.  They were Japanese prints in turqouise, red, white and grey.  Oh I wanted to play in those.  Alas, Laurie had her own plan and they stayed with her.

Here is the first top all quilted.  I will add a binding and send it off to Renee's grandson Porter.  The pattern is McCall's super size 9 patch. You just take 3 yards of fabric and cut them all the same way and shuffle the pieces then sew back together again. Just need 1 yard of fabric for each backing. Super easy and fast! I remember making these and laboring over the cuts needing to be "right". If I make these again they'll just all be cut the same without so much worry about exactness. Who will know?

Here is a close up of the loops, stars and moons.

I hapened upon this kit while nosing about in Laurie's sewing room.  My eyes must have been extra sparkly as she offered it to me and I happily accepted.  This was donated to her guild.  I will make the top and return it to her for their charity that makes quilts for hospice.  Just a quick fun project!

We had a great time and agreed that we needed to do it again.  Laurie kept the other two tops and agreed to quilt them for me.  At this point they are destined for Project Linus.

Quilty Hugs!!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Sewing Room

Here is the promised tour.  I am taking these on my iPhone so the quality isn't the best.

When you step into the room to the right is my bookshelf.  I have most of my quilting books on here and have to finish putting the rest up.  The bottom shelf holds paper patterns in pattern boxes.  There are several plastic bins with notions in them that will be moved elsewhere.  Down below are my quilting magazines.  On the floor is assorted stuff that I need to find a home for.  More than likely I will be stacking my project boxes near here.  I plan to limit the number of boxes to 6 or under.  I am a fan of FAB 4 that I have talked about on here before so 4 may be the magic number.  It dawns on me that this might be the right place for my tote of "kits".

On the wall to the right I have my quilt rack.  I have two types of tops here.  Those that are completed and waiting for quilting and those that need more work.  Those "in progress" as they all are really in progress are on the front where they can easily be seen.  The tote underneath contains my kits that I mentioned previously.  To the left of that is a bin that contains fabric and scraps.  I need to sort, fold and put away the fabric in my stash cabinets and put the scraps in the scrap bucket.

My design wall will eventually go up here.

The wall you see as you enter the door is the where the stash cabinets are located.  I had the guys slide everything to the right a little so the wire racks could be put along side the cabinet on the left.  This made a good spot to keep my rulers as well.  I plan to store all my sewing notions in these racks.

This is the wall to the left as you come in the door. The location of the machine. I have it sitting on a drafting table which works well for me. You can't see it but tucked behind the door to the left is my cutting table. I moved it there to make it more easily accessible. It used to live where the wire racks are now kept.

What sewing room would be complete without a sewing assistant? This is Sadie, She is my son's dog and whenever I go in to sew she is right there. Making her a mat to lie on is in order.

This is a little stack of QSTs that I just finished sewing into hour glass blocks. These were gifted to me and I have plans of making a version of Bonnie Hunter's Pfefferneuse quilt. I am trying to decide what color pinwheels to put with them. Watch this space for more news!

Quilty hugs!!


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Can You Sew Something For Me?

Do those words strike fear in your heart?  They should mine but I like to "help". 

So the neighbor asked...can you sew something for me?  I asked what he needed sewn.  He showed me these truck visors and told me when he needed them by.  I said I would try.  Of course the boyfriend is sitting there saying "Sure she can do it.  She can sew anything".  Sigh...

So I took ONE of these visors and stripped it.  The sun eaten fabric had been sewn to a thin piece of cardboard and then placed over a wooden piece on a metal rod.  You can see the metal piece that attaches it to the vehicle at the bottom of the picture.

For the cardboard I decided to use PELTEX 71 which is very stiff and fusible on one side.  The guys decided they needed to be vinyl.  I checked it out and it wasn't too expensive so bought some. 

I took the fabric that I removed from the visor and made a pattern on the PELTEX.  I cut it out then folded it in half and trimmed it to be sure everything lined up.  I then cut the vinyl about 1 inch larger than the fusible.  I fused it to the PELTEX.  The vinyl held up well to the steam press cloth.  I then tried to fold the edges over and glue it to the fusible on the other side.  I think elmers glue and more time would have worked as the glue stick did not.  I folded the piece in half then folded the fabric edges in.  Smoothed it all out.   Used my binding clips and clipped it all around.  I ultimately sewed the piece like a sleeve up to the end near the mounting piece and then slipped it over the wood.  I adjusted everything and sewed it close as best I could.

I had boyfriend deliver the first one hoping the neighbor would say forget it.  I don't like it.  Stop.  I continued working on the second one just in case.  When I didn't get a phone call and the bf didn't come back I knew I had to finish the second.  Same procedure.  Much better the second time.  I walked it down to the neighbor and was greeted by him yelling from the garage how awesome the first visor was.  The first was already installed in the truck.  I handed him the second and he went right to work putting it in.

I like the alligator look.  It adds some fun.  The truck belongs to the neighbors Dad.  I think he'll get a kick out of it.

On the quilt front.  I finished my Feedsack Patches to the top/flimsy stage.

Lori in Ohio mentioned on Quiltvillechat yahoo group that she had "some" extra Orca Bay pieces.  I quickly emailed her and asked if she had any extra wings.  She said she had some and would send them to me.  A few days later I had at least 150 of them in the mail.  The wings are the little black and white pieces shown below on one half of the HST.  I cut out some white for the other side and sewed them up.  I have begun sewing them together to build my outer border for my Rainbow Orca Bay.  I have sit and sew Friday so will be cutting the inner border there where I can spread out.  I will then layout the outer border.  There are some border pieces that are in another colorway so I will lay that out to see how I want to piece those in.  I plan to have a finished top by the end of the weekend!


What quilty things are you working on?

Quilty hugs!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


You knoiw what I am referring to...those little bits you trim off your blocks that, if sewn together, would result in an HST.  How small do you save?  I just trimmed off some pieces that would yield a .75" finished (1.25" unfinished) HST.  I guess you could sew an 1/8" seam and get a 1" finish.  Anyone use/save these tiny treasures?

I used to throw these all in the trash but I think I will try sewing up various sizes to see what is the smallest I would go for saving and sewing.  I will report back.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Design Wall Monday 6/24/2013

Do you recognize these fabrics?  These are blocks I made for a love quilt using the rectanbgles I showed previously.  I made two from Mom's stash and signed her name to them.  They are all on their way to be included in the top.

Next up is my Feedsack Patches top,  I made the inner border and have pinned the first one on to be sewn.  I broke the needle threader on my Janoime so wasted time with threading the machine.  Grr!!

I spent more time tweaking things in the sewing room.  Putting things away mainly.  At this rate I shoiuld be done by NEVER!  Ah well.  Progress is progress,  Trying to squelch the startitis and feed the finishitis!!

See more design walls at Judy's.

Quilty hugs.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tweaking My Sewing Space

Power was out again for about an hour last night while the boyfriend continued with some wiring projects.  I made good use of the time.  I grabbed my son and had him help me put things away in the sewing room or remove items that I did not want in there.  I have freed up some good floor space and now need to figure out what is next.  Trust me there is plenty of "opportunity" in there.

Regardless of the state the sewing room is in after tonight, I will take pics to show you tomorrow.  Pillowcases are done and delivered.  Onto quilty things!

Quilty hugs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Altering Pillowcases


Yes.  You read correctly.  I am altering pillowcases.  You see, I have this nice neighbor that likes to help.  She came down and helped me fold all that stash that you saw in my cabinets a few posts back.  She asked me if I would shorten her king cases to standard.  I said go get those cases and bring one the size that you want. 

POOF!!  She was gone and back with 4 cases.  3 to alter and one to use as my pattern.  I thought having a sample eliminated any communication issues.  Well boyfriend decided he needed to turn some of the power off to the house but he turned off most of the power to the house in the middle of our sewing session.  Note: dinner was on the stove as well.  Power stayed on for the stove but not the sewing machine.  He planned that didn't he?

Power back on.  Dinner eaten.  Three cases sewn for the first seam to shorten.  One sewn to French seam it.  One case delivered so the neighbor could test drive it on her pillow.  All is good.  Two more French seams to go.

Anyone see the irony in all this?  Let's add that I am ironing these cases to make sure the seam is nice and neat.  Hey, I sewed didn't I?  And no one wanted to see pictures of store bought  pillowcases did they?

Quilty hugs!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scouts Honor

See what happens when you open one too many boxes?  I was a girl scout a "few" years ago.  I even have the belt that goes with this.  I promised no more decluttering posts until I posted a sewy post.  Here it is!  Keep reading.

I vowed to sew last night.  After running one little errand willingly and another one unwillingly I got busy cutting.  I had lots of interruptions but persevered and accomplished the following.  I realized this a.m. that I had miscut some of the background pieces not shown here.  Luckily they are too big so can be cut down.  Maybne tonight I will actually use the machine!  Come back to see what I am making.

This activity last night was a good test run for me.  I need to put more things away and probably remove a few things to a better home.  It's feeling a little crowded in there.  Taking a break from decluttering was a good thing since it shows me what I need to work on.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Boxes and boxes and life lessons

I continued to open boxes and sort and put away and toss all weekend.  My version of taking a break was to work in my bedroom and go through my clothing to get rid of things I no longer wear or is damaged in some way, etc.  Not exactly the break I needed but it was different from opening boxes.  My boyfriend took me out for a ride on the motorcycle for a little while yesterday.  Of course all I could think about while we rode were those cursed boxes! 

I have decided to move everything into my garage that is probably going into the attic or out the door or needs a bigger sort once combined with it's like content boxes that are already in the garage.  There are two columns of boxes at least 5 feet tall waiting for my son to put out there.

Here is a bit of a history,,,,,

When I lost my husband I wasn't really forced to deal with all the stuff.  I pushed myself and donated a lot of things.  No where near enough but a good amount.  When the fire happened everything was taken out of the house and cleaned by someone else.  When it came time to bring it all back I was really forced to deal with things.  I did NOT want to cram it all back into the house.  I had a garage full and two storage units full that I could work in and bring back into the house only what I truly wanted.  I set a one month goal to get the smaller storage unit cleaned out.  I met that goal but also moved some of the items to the garage or the big storage unit.

I worked on the garage and got rid of a lot of big items.  I ultimately made enough room to empty the big storage unit onto my driveway.  That was another major sort that resulted in lots of items given away and a good amount put into the garage.  At that time a big stack of boxes were brought into the house for me to work on.  After this sort there was a months long break from working on this stuff.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  My boyfriend has moved in which resulted in me needing to make room for him.  He is squeezed in right now.  I asked him to just let me know if there is a certain area he wants me to work on and I will tackle it right away.  He's only asked for two areas and both were addressed.  He knew that I was going to grab boxes that I thought belonged in my sewing room and concentrate on those because it accounted for the majority of items that needed to be put away.  I made huge progress and even had the help of a neighbor to fold all the fabric.  I am being careful not to overstuff that room and know that I am reaching the end of the available space.

This whole process has been very frustrating and I ultimately agreed to put a large number of things from the garage into the attic so that I would have room to move around and I could continue to sort.  This resulted in over 2/3rds of the garage being emptied.  Now I find myself putting things back into the garage and feeling like this is a small step backwards.  I realize it isn't but can't help feel that way.

So there is a life lesson in here?  Are you ready? 

When my Mother passed away I took some clothing of hers, her jewelry and her sewing stash and patterns.  I was able to bring home the things I cared about the most in 2 13 gallon bags and a paper grocery sack.  There are two sewing machines that I will retrieve at a later date but that really isn't that much.  She has lots of nice, pretty things but when I was told by my father to get what I wanted because he was getting rid of everything that is what I took. 

This led me to talk to my kids about what is important to them in my belongings.  Apparently not much so my editing eye has really been opened and changed on what is important.  I let the kids know that just because it wasn't important to them didn't mean I was getting rid of it.  My daughter is ready to haul ALL of it away. 

Before Mom had passed I had already been through the contents  of many of my boxes and had chosen what was important to me.  Now I am going through these boxes again and some of the things I thought were important have lost their meaning to me.  I like many of these items but I just have so many.  I am really ready to let go of a lot more.  It has gotten easier to make these decisions.  I think that is the progress I should mark and be most proud of.

So this week I will still be sorting and culling and putting away but I am going to feel more relaxed about it.  I AM going to sew a little too.  Because that is important to me too.  No more talk of boxes unless I have quilty pics to share.  I promise!!

Quilty hugs!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Out of Balance

When I do something I usually focus on that one thing to the exclusion of everything else.  Right now I am sorting out my craft treasures, decluttering and organizing.  This is really a sub piece of the overall task of cleaning out the garage of all the boxes.  I eat, drink, sleep and dream opening boxes.  I have been at this task for going on 2 weeks now (on the most recent iteration) and quite frankly I am feeling burned out.  I am quite cranky too.

Last night I decided to take a little break and drove over to meet the group that sits and knits/crochets at the REC center.  When I got there they were not in their usual place.  I asked if they were still meeting and was told it was next week.  I left frustrated because this was to be some fun time for me.  I went back home and pouted for a minute, had a wine cooler on the patio, went to visit the neighbor for a short time and then returned home to cook and then work on organizing my bathroom and bedroom area.  While eating something came up that took up quite a bit of time and caused a lot of unhappiness.  By this time I was so frustrated I just went to bed and did nothing else.

I know part of my problem is that I get pretty inflexible when I set my mind to a task.  If I have something planned I want to follow that plan to it's completion.  I don't usually allow for anything else when I get in this mode.  I am sure a few of you that know me personally might be surprised but then again maybe not.  I don't show this side too often.

So what is the answer?  I think it is that I need to allow for interruptions because they always happen.  I need to schedule in some fun time through the process but not get upset if it doesn't happen.  Honestly when I get on a roll I am quite happy to stick with a not so fun task as long as I am accomplishing a lot.

You will probably find me hard at work on that garage this weekend with no real change to my original plan.  I will try to take my breaks sitting in my chair in my sewing room.  Maybe something will catch my interest enough to make me forget all these boxes and want to sew instead of declutter.  Who knows.  I just want to be done.  Should I post some before pictures to keep me motivated on the decluttering?  You know that will just make me more determined and set in finishing that task and not doing anything else.

Am I a strange duck or are you like this too?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

State of my Stash

When you walk into my sewing room this is what you see.  Most of my stash has been folded and placed neatly on shelves.  I have containers here and there with FQs in them, a few odd pieces here and there and then my mother's stash.  I want to keep hers separate so have to decide how that will be accomplished.

What an eye opening experience this has been.  There is a shelf on the far right at the bottom that is fully visible in this picture.  There is also some fabric sitting on my chair.  I am not sure if you can see it but this represents all my self made kits.  I know that I probavly would not make all that in a year.  Let's assume that I could though.  I have 7 more shelves full of fabric that is GREATER than my kit shelf plus all the FQs stacked in the center.  I'm going to not sweat it and just use what I use and give what I give.  I know that I have NO desire to acquire more.

I will be sorting through all my quilting paraphenalia and storing that in the coming days.  My hope is to know where everything is and sew like crazy.  There is plenty more from other hobbies that something has to be done about.  At this point I am going to store what I can in my sewing room without junking it up.  I will be creating a staging area where I can get easy access to the rest.  We'll see how that plan works out.

I hope to be sharing some of my work with you very soon.  Trying to get the rest of the house back into some semblence of order.  Organizaing and decluttering sure is messy work!

Quilty hugs.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Another Project

I received two "sleeves" last year as a gift.  There were instructions on what to do with them.  I immediately recognized them as "hot dog" pillowcases.  I've been grabbing things randomly and sewing them.  I need to stop starting and start finishing.

Here is the reveal after step 1.  Aren't they pretty?  After a good pressing I will French seam them.  A quick, fun project.

Quilty hugs.


Sunday, June 02, 2013

Stash Report and a Sewing Machine

I haven't added anything since I inherited my mothers stash.  I've sewn some this week so progress on using it up.  2 months or so ago I bought a 1/2 yd cut of a sale fabric just because.  I look at that piece of fabric and do not feel happiness over possessing it.  It will serve as a reminder to me to buy by need only because I have plenty that I already love.

The machine you see above was bought for me by my DD.  I didn't know her plan.  She bought it because it was pretty.  She spent $50 on it.  There is no bobbin, bobbin cover, spool pin or foot pedal.  I'm working with her to contact the seller to see if they have any if these pieces.  If DD doesn't care if I use it or not I will just shine it up and put it on display for now.

Quilty hugs.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feedsack Patches

This little quilt was gifted to me as a kit last year.  Darlene Zimmerman is the designer.  I have been trying to sew more so grabbed this to use as a leader ender.  I just need to add borders now.  Will post a better picture once the borders are added.

My Rainbow Orca Bay is in 4 sections now.  I will be pressing them tonight and assembling the sections.  Still trying to decide on borders for that one.  I have an eclectic border plan at this point.

Quilts hugs.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I have finished that last row since this picture was taken.  I now have four sections and will press them real good then sew them together.  I need to decide if I am going to make the original border from the Orca Bay pattern or if I will make simple HSTs.

To see what is on other people's design walls go to Patchworktimes.

Quilty hugs.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stash Report

This is my mother's stash.  The white 13 gallon trash bag was all her fabric and scraps.  There is a small plastic tote on top that has three jelly rolls in it.  I will be assimilating it into my own stash over time.  I already took a small scrap and used it in my rainbow Orca Bay.  I think I will try to do that with all my future quilts.

The brown paper sack (click on photo to see full picture) contains all her patterns and books.  If nothing else she kept it simple.  When I am ready I will be culling what I won't use but it is too soon right now.  She had only one planned project that she bought for when we were together.  I washed the fabric while I was at my parents house when she passed.  We left sooner than expected and I left that fabric up there.  Oh well, I plan to get it when I go back for a visit later this year.

See Patchworktimes for more stash reports.

Happy quilting.


Sunday, May 05, 2013


My world will never be the same.  I received a call last week from the doctor at the hospital telling me I needed to get home to NY and not wait.  Mom went into the hospital on Friday for fluid build up and low blood pressure.  The treatment gave her a heart attack from which she could not recover.  They placed her on a ventilator and heart pump.

My brother and I both left Sunday a.m.  He from Louisiana and I from Texas arriving within 10 minutes of one another on Monday.  While she showed slight improvement it was clear that she would not recover and we removed her from life support on Wednesday.

We buried her yesterday on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  She is just down the hill from her parents and on the same road from her two baby daughters.  I smile when I think that she now has the opportunity to finish raising my sisters.  I will miss her.

If you click here you will find some stories that I wrote about her on my blog.  She was a great quilting buddy.  I always told her I got the best Mother.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Design Emerges

I decided to arrange my dark stars with the peach so that they would go edge to edge.  I then decided to arrange the colored stars along this row.  Of course now that I have started assembling the rows I thought of another idea for arranging the colors but I don't think I will be ripping back to do the "new idea".

There is a whole stack of 3" string blocks that act as the cornerstones in the sashing.  I think I was gifted all but one that I will need.  There were 4 pink ones.  Guess where those are destined.  Then the rest are almost evenly split between yellow/orange and blue.  I am placing the blues so that they run through the peach star rows.  The yellow/orange will be sprinkled throughout the rest of the quilt.

Can you see the plan?  Pics sure show lots of mistakes I will be fixing!

I am linking up with Judy for Design Wall Monday here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Orca Bay 2

I have a layout I am going with,  I showed pictures to a friend's grandson and he asked why I didn't put all the color in the center.  I told him I had thought about doing that.  I sewed my color blocks together so that it would be easier to move things around a little.  I have 6 separate "other" color blocks.  Yellow, purple, blue/peach, rust, maroon/batik and orange.  One epiphany I had was to layout the peach and black blocks on the diagonal and then I placed the colored stars on each side of that diagonal.  Can you see the peach going top right to bottom left through the center.

I've had fun playing with this and have sewn most of the star rows together.  I plan to continue sewing those rows together and then I can start working on the "sashing" rows.  The majority of the cornerstones are blue but I have lots of other colors too so that will be the next decision I will have to work on.