Judy L's UFO Challenge

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.