Judy L's UFO Challenge

Sunday, January 31, 2021

OMG Complete forJanuary 2021!

I showed my quilt top previously.  It’s to the top stage which was the first part of my goal.

I spent the month continuing to clean, declutter and organize my home but especially my quilting accoutrements.  I’m a stacker and had things in my path of using my longarm.  I have cleared that area out and can freely get to the front and back of my machine now.  It’s all dusted off after a long stint of non use.  I just finished threading it and wanted to get this post done and linked before the linkup closed.  Once I’ve done that I’ll be firing her up and checking the tension.  I may even continue quilting a bit.

Come see what everyone accomplished at Elm Street Quilts!

Here are some things I also made this month.  They are all quilt kits that I bought from The Quilted Cow in West Branson, MO.  They host a Facebook live sale every Wednesday night from 7-10 p.m. CST.  They give away prizes too just for showing up and saying hi! 

 I found them last May and really started watching again in November.  Let me just say it hasn’t been kind to my checking account but I love it because their kits have most everything included.  For example if you buy a pattern that calls for a zipper and other hardware the kit will have it.  They offer their kits in many different color ways as well.  The only thing I’ve had to add myself is fusible fleece.  I believe I have some kits I’ll have to add interfacing as well but that’s easy to find.  They also have a FB group called Wicked Cool Quilters.  Everyone on there has been so friendly and supportive.  My favorite group by far.

You will see more small projects this year as I sew up the things I’ve bought from the cow.

Happy quilting!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Design Input Needed

My friend Glen made this amazing animal quilt!  

It’s all Drunkards Path blocks.  I asked another friend if she had the Accuquilt die for that shape and she did and lent it to me.  I went and bought a variety of grunge fabrics to try and recreate some of these blocks.  

I cut out a bunch of blocks from the different colors and started with the lobster.  In my world I’m calling it a crawdad.  Then I made the turtle.  Somewhere in the process of being inspired I decided to also make a fish.  I was going to create a wall quilt with these to represent an aquarium scene.

Before the fish was created I stalled out.  I have no idea why.  In the process of gathering, sorting and shuffling my stuff and projects it entered my mind to work on again.  I think you can tell I create tops pretty quickly and wanted something to slow me down a little.  I took it to church and finished my fish block then assembled the three blocks to this point.

I cut a silvery gray to represent aquarium sides.  I cut it to the height you see here and stopped before applying it.  I have some decisions to make.  I want it to look like an aquarium and had thought I’d add fabric that represented walls and if I did that I’d want to extend the aquarium wall higher to be realistic to represent that gap between the top of the water and the top of the aquarium..  I’ll be adding black at the bottom to represent the aquarium bottom.  If I add walls do I add a table?  Do I just go straight across or try to be artsy and make it look like it’s sitting on a round table with a rounded edge?

It’s not going to be entered to win a prize.  It’s to represent a happy moment in my family’s life.  What are your thoughts and ideas?  I’m going to have to lay it out with my other fabrics to get a better idea of what a simple approach will look like.  No plans for appliqué but there will be embroidered elements.

It’s been fun to play with it again.  Thoughts and ideas please!  Linking up with Small Quilts Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Design As I Go

Back in November Shelly at Prairie Moon quilts issued a studio organizing challenge.  It was to work on a languishing project.  I have one of those!  I was in the process of shuffling stuff so I had to find the one I had in mind.  I had to design a border as I felt it needed one.  I had to find the matching background fabric and the batiks that matched the top.  It took me until this past week to accomplish all those things so I was able to start executing as well!

The pattern is called Dizzy.  I modified it a little to change the way the spirals turned.

I knew I wanted to do a Greek key like border.  I tried sketching some overly complex things then decided to simplify.  Alycia posted about her quilt which spurred me to keep going.  Here is what I came up with.

I know I’ll have to make adjustments to the spacing.  I want the corners to all look the same so will work toward the middles and figure it out.  I cut some strips and started sewing and auditioning.

The edge pieces were all mixed together rather than grouping color.  I was surprised how green the border looked in the first picture.  I turned the quilt to put the purple swirl next to the border and it took on the purple color.  Interesting!  A little more sewing to create additional border pieces then I’ll start building the borders to attach.

Come back soon.  I have another project I’ll want your input on the design!

Happy quilting.

Friday, January 15, 2021

It’s The Little Things

First of all I decided to fix the quilt top I showed before.  It took an hour to take apart and an hour to put back together.

One of the other things I’d like to do is work on small projects.  This is a placemat bag I’ve been wanting to make for 2 or 3 years.  If you search on placemat to bag by Lorrie Nunemaker you’ll find the pattern I followed.  There are many tutorials by many people.

I used a 3” tuck for the boxed corners.

I’ll add a zipper pull and use it in my camper more than likely.

Wait!  Don’t go in there!  That’s my sewing room I mean.  I’ve been going in there to arrange, shuffle and consolidate.  There are too many ideas floating around in there.  So I have been grouping like things and putting them away.  I’ve also been thinking about how to make better use of the space.  I’ve decided when I catch myself spinning in circles I’ll walk out and make a decision about what I want to do next and go back in with a little resolve!  Eventually I hope a lot of the “noise” will be gone and I can work in there peacefully.

I was going to go sew at the church tomorrow and then again Monday since I have MLK day off.  Sadly, COVID has reared its ugly head and there are several members that have been exposed.  While testing is being done and results are pending my friend has closed the door to social activities.  Of course I’m sad but I don’t want to take the risk.  I’ve got plenty to do at home so that’s where you’ll find me.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Too Many Tabs Open

Over the course of two posts Julie perfectly captured where I’m at.

I have too many ideas flitting around in my head.  I want to use my scraps, I want to do the rainbow scrap challenge,  I want to work on this mystery quilt,  I want to work on that sew along, I want to work on UFOs,  I want to work on new projects I have kitted up  People call all these distractions...



So how do I combat this?  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, thinking, thinking.  I do want to bring my UFOs to a completed top at least.  I have several unquilted tops that are earmarked for others.  I also have new starts I’d like to make.  So where does this put me?

I need to locate the UFOs that need to be brought to a completed top stage.  Locate might be the wrong word.  Maybe inventory them.  These are things I can work on anywhere I sew.  The majority of that sewing time would be earmarked for when I go to the church to sew with friends.  

The unquilted tops.  I just need to get to it.  Do it.  Get over whatever is holding me back and quilt them!  I  can pull those tops out of the stack and locate or make the associated backing and binding.  More inventorying!

The new starts.  This is easy.  These are my bucket list type quilts.  As I’m wrapping up one top I start thinking about what I want to work on next and go rummage through my cache of nuts 😜to choose what’s next.  I am not above making new kits so this is my opportunity to scrap wrangle for new starts.  

So this post helped me think out loud.  I’ll probably keep operating close to how I have been with some adjustments to get more finishes in.  This is my version of goal setting!

Did you goal set for 2021?  What’s your plan?  I’m FREEspiriting.  Write that down Elle.  That’s my word for the year.  Free!  Free to choose but in other areas of my life free of stuff and commitment.

Happy New Year!  In all my gabbing I have not made that wish for you all.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Epic Fail! Well...

...more like try again.

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?  Let me give you a hint.  The row I sewed to the top should have been attached to the bottom.  I just realized I was hurrying to get it attached before I went to get lunch.  I did not even give it a second thought.

When I got back I cut the borders then pressed the top.  I lay out the border pieces to cut to fit.  Couldn’t I have taken a moment to look at it?  Why yes but I was talking.  Hmmm....  I’ve been contemplating to fix or not.  Yes I must fix it.  Then how best to fix it.  I could surgically remove the pieces and swap them around.  12 pieces times 4 sides to do that.  Suddenly pulling borders off and reversing the two bottom rows then reattaching borders isn’t looking so bad!  Maybe 5 long seams.  Better!

I came home from church and continued dusting off the longarm and getting ready to oil and thread it.  Both of these activities will happen tomorrow.  Both steps towards accomplishing this months OMG.  I’ll also be back here in the next day or two and let you know what I have in mind for my quilty works.

Would you fix this mistake if it were your quilt?

Thursday, January 07, 2021

January 2021 OMG

I really tried to encourage myself to make this a quilting goal instead of a piecing goal.  But I know doing this makes me resist getting back to my machine even more.  So for this month I’m going to bring my Scooch Over 1 top to flimsy.  Here are layouts I’ve been playing with.

Regarding the actual act of quilting I will get my machine threaded and dusted off and ready to go.  The bonus will be if I do more!  We will see.

Linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts One Monthly goal.  Are you playing too?

Sunday, January 03, 2021

What are the Mountains of your Mind?

I borrowed this from a friend that heard Bonita speak.  This was what he took away from her lecture.

When Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest, set out on her quest to conquer this mountain, she faced much resistance. She was told by experts that 99% of the people who say that they’re going to climb Mount Everest, fail. That’s pretty disheartening news to someone who has never climbed a mountain. Instead of listening to the loudest voices of the ninety-nine percentile, she decided to focus on the quieter 1%. What is it about that 1% that sets them apart? With this focus, just a few years later she conquered that mountain and stood on the summit.

What are your mountains? What do you need to conquer? Listen to that still small voice, the voice of victory and focus on that. Take it one step at a time. Don’t worry about the thousands of steps or decisions ahead of you. Just the next one. That’s the only one you need to take right now. Also note that the steps you’ve taken so far, every single one of them, has brought you to this place, this moment, this decision point. I don’t know about you, but my biggest mountains are those that exist in my mind. I’m learning how to quiet those loud voices, the naysayers, your enemy and focus on my champion, the victory, the 1%. It could take you to great heights.

This is my mountain.  My Avante that I’ve owned since August 2015.  I can probably count the number of quilts I’ve quilted on it with two hands.  Why do I not use it more?  You’ve seen me crank out tops left and right.  I taken several ruler classes.  I’ve quilted for others both for group gifts and commissions I’ve taken on.  Not one single time has my work been criticized.  

So why?  I’ve tried talking to others about it.  I’ve tried to enlist a coach or encourager.  No luck.  I’ve thought about it many times and tried to pin the reason on others.  My son complains it’s too noisy.  He’s barely around anymore.  There goes that excuse.  My daughters cats were always using it for a hammock.  They became interested in the thread so it was immediately unthreaded and not used since.  Neither the daughter nor cats live here any longer.   I know it’s me.  All me!

I had a quilt on the frame that my design was too complex for my skill set at the time.  I took it off until my skill set matched my desired plan.  I’ve mostly freehand quilted with good success.  I have a tendency to want to custom quilt everything.  I can’t seem to see that an all over pattern will be just fine for what I am doing.   What I am doing is quilting every day quilts.  The current quilt on the frame is one that I’m doing an all over swirl pattern on.  It’s boring, I’m bored, I don’t want to do it.  I’ve learned a lot about myself haven’t I?

So here I am.  I don’t want to take that quilt off.  I need to move forward.  Do I pick it out and do something else?  No, I’m a quarter to a third way through.  Can I change the pattern up?  Doubtful but I may be able to make the designs more open so it’s less quilting but it’s still a lot of quilting.  I just need to commit myself to doing a little on it everyday until it’s done.

Do you have something you’re trying to overcome?