Judy L's UFO Challenge

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I haven't been sewing much unless I go to the church for their Friday night sewing group.  I have done a little bit of quilting but nothing to brag about.  I am now working 7 days a week and 6 of those days I am required to be in the office.  This will probably go on until March so I will do what I can when I can.  The lady that heads up the sewing group at the church was nice enough to extend the sewing time on January 1st so that we have a longer period to work there.  She did this for me.  I love that gal!  I am also going to take a class on the 3rd and not work.  It will be Bonnie Hunter's NYE mystery that she holds at Fabric Fanatics in Plano.  This will be my fourth year and is a gift from my best friend each year.

Merry Christmas to one and all.  I know my readership has waned over the years as my blogging has fallen off considerably..  I enjoy hearing from everyone that takes the time to comment.  I also wish you a Happy New Year for 2016.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Feedsack Patches

My goal to finish this quilt is almost met.  I just have to finish quilting the side borders and bind it.  I think I can get this done since it's a little one at 38x48.  If I can get the binding made and sewn on Sunday I should be able to get it tacked down by Monday...gulp.... It could happen!

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!



Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Quilted

I've finished another quilt on my Avante.  I tried more complex things.  I had tension issues.  I got some learning in.

I only basted the top edge.  I didn't have issues with the other three sides.  I free handed a wave design across the top and down the sides as I went.  At first I was quilting the center then the sides.  At some point I quilted the sides then center.  I made it work but will try not to repeat that error.

I was pretty consistent down the sides until I got to the end.  I wasn't feeling my best and my corners ended weird.  I drew it out but it just didn't work.  I'll try turning it next time so the side borders are at top and bottom.  I need to take a small step back until I've had more practice.  

Someone suggested I make my loops bigger.  I like how they look but I get bored quickly!  I'll work it out.

Finally I need to pay closer attention when winding my bobbin.  The thread slipped out of the tension discs.  I think this was the root of my tension issues.

Next up is a little quilt I pieced.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Four Patch on Point

I was gifted a baggy of squares.  I picked out the pink and the black and decided to make 4patches.  I have wanted to make a 4 or 9 patch on point quilt so here was my opportunity.  Now I am trying to choose a color for the alternate blocks.  The fabric is not necessarily what I will use (it's clothing in some cases) but is meant to nudge me in the right direction.  What color do you like host?  Should I try others?

Red.  Green.  Pink.  Black.  White.  

I will save my opinion until I hear others.

Monday, November 02, 2015

November a Lovely Year of Finishes

I have managed to set and meet a goal for three months in a row participating in this challenge.  I have decided to quilt a top I made as the ones I've quilted so far were pieced by others for Project Linus.  This may very well go there as well unless someone determines a better destination.  So will quilt and bind this by end of month.

To see what other goals have been set click here.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Quilting Update on Avante

I have had my Avante for two months now.  I played on her for probably 6 weeks.  Here are some pics if my work.  The first shows working on a pantograph.  Too rigid for me but I'll try again someday.

This is some of the ideas I saw elsewhere and ideas of my own that I toyed with.

Mire doodling playing with hearts and leaves and vines and stars.

I took my practice quilt off the frame and loaded my first quilt.  I started to baste it and hit the leader knocking the basket out that holds the bobbin.  I was stuck until I could get someone to come look at it or I could take it to someone.  My salesperson was in France so I asked someone in town to help me out.  We made arrangements for them to teach us how to re-time the machine.  They came over and had us fixed up lickety split.

I loaded the first quilt which I blogged about previously.  Here it is again.

I am pleased with the outcome but definitely needed to relearn some things.  I took the quilt to Wattafind in Mesquite and Jaqueline helped me figure out what I was doing wrong.  She explained some things and suggested some others.  Based on my blog I also got suggestions from Glen of Quikts and Dogs on some things to try.  With this new knowledge in my head I quilted this.


I am happier with this outcome.  Still lots of learning ahead.  I have another quilt loaded that I will use the same thread on then will be changing thread colors.  That in itself may present a whole new set of learnings.  Will report back on my adventures.

Quilts hugs!

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - October Finish

I did it!  I managed to finish all eight of my microwave bowls.  And what is even better is the 6 that I gifted are now in the recipients hands in NY.  To see what others finished click here for the ALYOF finishing party for October.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

First Quilt Completed on my Avante

I am documenting my first experience for future reference.  I started the quilt a little late w.  When I first loaded the quilt I hit my leader and threw my machine out of wack.  It was weeks before I was able to get it fixed.  When I started again I made sure to avoid the leaders.  I went a tad overboard.

As you can see my backing was a tad short.  I will let the binder decide how to address that.

When I basted across the top and down the sides I got little folds in the edges.  I don't think I was doing something I was shown.  This will be the first question I ask.  Also, when I was pulling my bobbin thread to the top at the end of a run my thread was not getting cut so the thread was getting dragged across the back.  Again, I missed something I was taught.  Question number two.

Overall the back looks good.  Tension was good.

On the front there were a few tension issues but always on the right side.  I think it was my top tension, not thread but quilt tautness.  Practice is needed to improve that area I believe.

Finally, my new quilt holder in training.  He did a fine job and peeked over the top to get his photo.  He's been my sons friend since they were 7 or 8.  His name is Dylan but I call him Dill Pickle.  Didn't he do a fine job?

If you know any of my answers please feel free to share!



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quilt Retreat

I went to a quilt retreat this past weekend that started mid day Friday through midday Sunday.  The food, facilities and people were great!  I went with a group of 6 that I knew and met some new friends that I look forward to seeing again.

I took nine projects with me.  2 that I did not touch at all except to carry into the center and then out again when we left.  1 gave away as I discussed in a previous post.  1 I totally finished which was my microwave bowls and then 5 that I did something with even if it was to take out all the piece parts and sort out where I was (only 1 prokject like that).  I was pretty pleased with my progress.

Microwave bowls.

Tumblers cut with GO Cutter and some sewing done.

4 patches made with some gifted 3.5" squares.

Monday, October 12, 2015

I'm Booooored

I went to a quilting retreat in Wichita Falls over the weekend.  My friend overheard a young lady complaining that she was bored.  She mentioned it to me.  A short while later I saw this trio at the cutting table.  The girl was there with her mother and grandmother.  You could tell she was not happy.  I leaned over to  Grandma and said I hear that someone was bored while keeping my eyes on the girl.  The girl didn't really react to my comment.  I told her I had brought a project that she might like to work on.  That it was a minion pin cushion.

She perked up when I said this.  She asked her mother if it was ok for her to work on it and her mom agreed.  She followed me to my basket of goodies and I handed over the supplies and pattern.  I even told her that if she had questions to please let me know and I could show her pictures.  She went off with her new project in hand.

A while later I went to check on her and she was happily working away on the pin cushion.  I asked if she needed anything and she did not.  Not long after she came over asking for the picture.  I took my ipad to show her and grandmother seemed to be pretty involved.  I was concerned that the project was cutting into her time too.  I listened to the exchange between them and could tell she was offering guidance only.

The next day this is what resulted.  A cute pin cushion and a happy busy girl!  Best of all they live in the same town as I do and we exchanged info so I hope to sew with them again in the future!

Happy quilting!


Thursday, October 08, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes for October

I may have posted this too late but I am going to play along just the same.  I made a few of these microwave bowls In the start of 2014.  I have had quite a few cut out since then but not sewn.  I am going to get them done this month!  They are intended as thank you gifts.

I made a second one and it cupped the bowl a lot better.  I will be using that one as my example.  Click over here to see what everyone else plans to finish this month.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Finish for ALYOF

I met my goal.  The completed quilt for my great niece.  I quilted it and bound it and mailed it a few weeks ago.


This is the back.  I wanted it to be bright for contrast to the front in case the recipient's mother didn't like the front.  I got a thank you message through facebook saying she loves it and it matches the nursery.  Still waiting for the requested picture of the baby on the quilt.

To see what others finished in September click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Decluttering with the KonMari Method

I have spent a good amount of my life acquiring things.  But now I spend a good amount of my life de-cluttering things.  I find myself attached to the silliest of things.  I would get attached to my kids toys for example.  I at some point managed to let go of things.  I had to find a good steward of my things that I could entrust with these treasures.  It helped.  I told the recipients to never tell me when they let go of these items.

When my husband passed away I still had to find a good steward for my things.  But I was willing to let a lot more go because I knew that someone could make good use of his things NOW not later.  I let go of piles and piles of clothes and shoes to name a few.

Many of you  have heard of FlyLady. She has you work on your daily routine which includes dishes and quick swish of the toilet for example.  Then she has you work on a room a week going around the room in a methodical way sorting and getting rid of things for a specified amount of time.  She made sure you left time at the end of your session to properly take care of your sorted piles.  You repeated week after week until theoretically you were done.  I needed her when I first started getting rid of things.  I think she appealed to the depressed and overwhelmed.  She encouraged you to just do something, anything, but keep trying.  I was pretty good about following along with her weekly email reminders.  She was getting you to clean a bit as well.

When I had my house fire I had a big wipe the slate clean moment.  I moved back into my house and everything was freshly cleaned, painted and put back together again.  I had a garage full of boxes and 2 storage units filled with boxes and stuff.  My house had what I wanted in the rooms at the time.  I went to the task of getting all the things in the garage sorted and given away or put away.  I then had the daunting task of bringing everything from storage and putting it in my garage.  Actually it was all hauled out onto the driveway and was sorted into categories.  Some of the things I knew I wanted to keep or to spend more time sorting through were placed in the attic for storage.  Then there were the things that I could sort through relatively quickly and get rid of.  I still had too much.  This was in May of 2012.  This is when I started disposing of my husbands things in earnest..

I began bringing in boxes to be sorted from the garage.  I would put the boxes where I thought I wanted the contents ultimately stored.  It didn't take long to clutter things up again.  I did my best and tried to keep things grouped together.

The following year my mother passed away.  My Dad insisted that I take whatever I wanted of hers before I left town after the funeral.  I took what I could and gave away what I did not want.  I reasoned with Dad and he agreed to let me set aside the larger items to be picked up when I could return.  What I did bring back from those trips just added to the clutter.  More clothes, furniture, fabric and sewing paraphernalia.  The water was rising in an already over my head depth.  I continued to try to sort and give away.  The strong emotional attachment was there again.  Even worse than before.  But I continued to pick away at the clutter.

About 7 months after Mom passed I got a call from Dad that he was sick and had fallen at home.  I ultimately had to go to him to help sort his medical situation out and make some decisions about his future.  Long story short we packed up his house, sold it and he moved in with me along with all his stuff.  By the end of May he passed away.  Now I had all his stuff to deal with.  More furniture, clothes and stuff in general.  Not to mention all the paper and the estate to settle.  Again,  the picking and choosing of what to give away continued.  More stuff to the attic, more giving away of large objects.  Still identifying those good stewards of my parents precious things.

I am not exactly sure how I came across the KonMari method.  She is so totally different than FlyLady.  She has five categories that she wants you to work on.  The first of which is clothes.  She wants you to gather all your clothes into once place regardless of the season they are for.  She wants you to be shocked by how much stuff you have.  She then wants you to touch each item and if it "sparks joy" you keep it, otherwise you dispose of the item.  She encourages you to thank it for serving its purpose in your life.  She also encourages you to quickly move through this activity and stick with it until you have gone through all your clothes.

I have neither the energy nor time to gather ALL my clothing into one place and do a massive sort.  Not yet at least.  But I did realize that I had two laundry baskets piled high with socks.  I would start there.  How did I get so many socks?  Well there were Mark's socks that fit me and I liked to wear.  There were the socks that my mother did not like for either her or Dad and she passed them to me.  Then when they both passed I inherited their socks.  Ray's socks were mixed in there and so were my son's.  My daughter had a few cast offs but for the most part she manages her own socks.

I went through the basket and started pairing up things.  I then selected the socks that belonged to each person.  I chose a number for each person and more or less stopped picking the ones I liked when I hit it.  I still had a huge basket full of good, wearable socks that are now paired and sitting in a tote awaiting donation this weekend.  There were very few that I threw away because they were stained or holey.

The difference this time is that I was choosing what to keep rather than what to get rid of.  If I went with the philosophy of only keeping the good and tossing the bad then I was stuck in the cycle of still hanging on to too much.  For some reason choosing what to keep gave me the right mindset to let go of the excess good.  I still have socks that are mismatched.  Over time I will realize what is not mated and never will be and will toss them or donate them to someones sock puppet project.  But I can see how this change will make a huge difference for me.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Winning Week

I used to enter online giveaways for quilt items quite a bit. But I stopped because I felt like I had too much stuff already. I came across a giveaway for Darcy Ashton's new book of appliqué owls and entered. To my surprise I won her book. I had also entered the A Lovely Year of Finishes contest and was just notified that I won a pattern from Persimmon Quilts. I'm having a winning week.  

Here is progress on my September ALYOF project.  All quilted and ready to be bound.



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

ALYOF for September

I met my second great niece for the first time back in May.  Her mother told me that the nursery was done in yellows and grays.  I cannot recall if I had already bought these fabrics first with the intent of making a modern quilt or if I bought them after learning this information.

I started my crawl through cyberspace to find a pattern for a baby quilt.  I came across a picture of a pillow that inspired me to make the top pictured below.  It has already been topped and is in the process of being quilted on my DSM.  Yes I know I have the Avante but I wanted straight line quilting and I don't have the tools or skills to accomplish that on her yet.

My goal for this ALYOF is to finish the quilting and bind and mail it to Madison by the end of the month.  To see other peoples goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes for September click here.

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Finish for The Second Time

I finished my daughters tshirt quilt earlier this month and it went downhill from there. There were gaps in the borders that I was able to ladder stitch closed. Then we noticed there were spots on the binding where it was not sewn to the top correctly.

I removed all my hand stitches, picked out the bad spots where I had not sewn both edges of the binding to the quilt and re-sewed it. Today I finished sewing the binding back down. Here is my report for Lovely Year of Finishes.

Happy quilting!