Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 52 - Last report of 2013

Christmas has come and gone, and it was a wonderful time.  We seem to have established some new traditions, as well as enjoying some old!
Miss Sassy (Zoey 2 1/2) and Alex (5)
When I was a child, we always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it always had pyjamas in it.  I carried on the tradition by making pyjamas for my daughters most years, and now I'm making them for my grandchildren.  They were pleased as punch to have matching jammies.
Newish tradition: A few years back, we got in the habit of driving around to look at the Christmas lights on Christmas eve, now with the little ones we wait until they get in their jammies, bundle them into the van and off we go!  By the time we get home, they have fallen asleep and we carry them into my house, and play games for the rest of the evening.  It sure helps make the evening pass quickly for the kids.
 Christmas was also great for busting out some fabric! 

Used since last report: 10 metres
Used Year-to-Date:   97 metres

Added since my last report: 10.5 metres

Added Year-to-Date: 216.75 metres
Net used/Added for 2013: 119.75 metres

(For more stash reports, visit Judy's blog at Patchwork Times)

On Christmas Eve, I decided to make another 2 pillowcases to use for wrapping towels and a bath mat set for my younger daughter and her husband.  That was good for another 2 metres out.  Of course, I was too rushed to take pictures!

This quilt also got gifted:

I got it bound 5 days before Christmas!  It was so large it took a full metre of fabric to bind it.  My daughter didn't waste any time getting it on her bed and posted on Facebook (where I shamelessly stole this photo from!) The other daughter will get a quilt for Christmas 2014.
I also made and gifted 6 of these:
I found these cute miniature composition books in the dollar store, and designed the crayon holder to fit them perfectly with 8 crayons. 
 Perfect for the little ones in church, the doctor's office or anywhere they need to be quietly occupied. (I also bought the triangular crayons, so they don't roll away).  That's another metre out (approximately, because I used a fat quarter and scraps!)
I also made a set of placemats for my co-worker, but again, no picture (I resolve to do better with that).  Another 1.5 metres outta here!
While I was busy doing all the Christmas sewing, I used my first "Bonnie Hunter" scrappy quilt as my leader and ender project.  Today, I focused on getting it finished and I'm happy to say it is done!  4.5 metres of 2" squares dating back to the 1970's (from my mother's stash and my first sewing projects), and includes scraps from clothes I sewed my kids all the way through to pieces from my recent finishes, including Easy Street! There are almost 40 years of memories in this quilt, and now I can get rid of those fabrics I will never use again (mostly the poly-cottons that I used in this memory quilt, but won't quilt with again).
Of course all this fabric busting would have been great for reducing my numbers if it hadn't have been for this:
A trip to IKEA - I bought 6 metres of this wonderful large-text print (at only $3.98/metre) for backing some quilts this coming year.  I also had to get some solids for an upcoming project, which will be done by May.
And I couldn't resist the text print on gray on top! So in, a total of 10.5 metres, including the IKEA fabric.
Also at IKEA, I got these great decorations for my sewing room (AKA my Happy Place):
Don't they look great?  They're metal, with large nylon laces and make me smile every time I see them!
I had started off the year with the intentions of trying not add to my stash this year, but between being gifted so much fabric, finding some great bargain websites, and not getting much down due to working so much overtime, I ended up in the very RED side this year.  I am seriously going to go on a fabric diet this coming year, and also finish up some major UFOs and hopefully break even in 2014.  Until I get my UFO list down to a manageable level, I resolve to no longer to shop online and will only go to my LQS when I need fabric for a specific project, and restrict random purchases during those trips to a fat quarter or fat eighth.  Hold me to it, will you?


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from British Columbia, Canada!

Just a quick post to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, or an enjoyable day if you celebrate a different holiday!  My oldest daughter and her family stayed overnight, so for the first time in a while I was able to enjoy the excitement of Christmas morning with a little one!
He was moving so fast, it was hard to get a good shot!

Now we are just waiting for the rest of the family, and pretty soon this will be opened!
Daisy will have a hard time giving it up!  (This snow is from a couple of days ago, it's all gone now and we have another typical green Christmas day - at least it's not raining!)
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

NewFO Challenge Linky Party 2014

I'm going to join another linky party - forget the Finish it Up ones, maybe I'll have better success starting New FO's instead of finishing UFOs (Unfinished Objects)!
Hosted by Barbara of Cat Patches, she is a great enabler!

In all seriousness, I do better finishing a project when I know there is a new one in the wings waiting for me. I also have to play silly games with myself, like telling myself I can't go to the quilt cave until I've done some housework.  It's really dumb I have to do that, now that the kids left home, its not like there is anyone here to trip over things (except me!).

 I've updated my UFO and WIP page to track where I am on the old projects, and I will continue to whittle this list down, but as I finish two projects, this year I would like to start the following projects (some will be quick and easy, others will be long-term):

January:  Crazy Quilt Journal Project - I'm already committed to starting this project in January and it should be finished by December.

I come from a long line of seamstresses and sewists, and I've always wanted to make a crazy quilt, so I'm going to make something that will use the bits and bobs I've inherited, honour my mother and her ancestors, and learn something new.  Signup is closed now, but Kathy is accepting late registrations as time allows.  For more information, you can visit the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 here.
February:  I want to start a Super Mario quilt for my niece's oldest son.

This project also has a deadline - I need to have it done by early May for his seventh birthday.  
March:  My birthday month -  I plan on making myself a Tiny World!

I fell in love with Karen of Faeries and Fibres versions, and have a little collection of teacups and sugar pots from my mother and grandmother that would be perfect.

  April:  I Spy (need for June) - I've made one for all the little ones in the family, this newest one will be for the youngest who is turning two in June. Here's a picture of my last one:

May: My grandson hopefully still loves all things construction by his next birthday (he'll be 6), so this one will be next on deck:

Construction Zone by Quiltmaker Magazine

June: As part of my goal to give everyone in my family a quilt, I plan to start Elizabeth Hartmann's Cat quilt.  She's currently doing a quilt-along, so I have been saving the patterns for my cat-loving niece.

July: If I haven't already started one, I have to pick a pattern in July to start a queen-size quilt for my younger daughter and her husband.  It will probably be a Bonnie Hunter quilt.

August - October: I haven't chosen any for these months yet, but they will probably be small projects that, if successful, can be repeated easily to get my Christmas sewing done by the time the next project starts, which is:

November: As I have for the last 3 years, I will start Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt the day after American Thanksgiving. 
December: I hope to finish a couple of other embroidered-block quilts this year, so in December I will reward myself by starting this quilt! The free patterns can be found here - Sulky Threads 2013 Block of the Month - I Love Sewing -

I found the link on Barbara's (Cat Patches) NewFO list and fell in love.  I'll do it in the colours of my sewing room - pink, lime green and aqua.  When I followed the link, I discovered they have several years of BOM patterns that I want to do.  I'll limit myself to one for now!

Thanks to Barbara for this challenge - I hope this one will be easy for me to keep up with!  For other enablers lists, visit the Linky Party here!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celtic Solstice Link-Up, Week 3

It's Week Three of Bonnie's Mystery Quilt Linkup, but I have barely started Week Two.
I have a good excuse though - I've been binding my king-size version of Easy Street, all 440 inches of it!
And I have a helper!
I can't lay a quilt down without Daisy laying claim.  Once it's finished, I'll get some good pictures and show off the quilting.  I am so happy with the final result and I know my daughter and her husband will be too!
I seem to have a mental block making these, I have about a dozen right-hand sides, but have a hard time getting the left-hand side down pat.  I love the result though - 4 down, 46 to go.  I even used some of my precious Pukeko fabric from New Zealand, all the while humming "A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree". (My grandson got the New Zealand version of the 12 Days of Christmas in a package from his Kiwi grandparents, and we've had to sing that version ever since!)

I made some Triangle Buddies, a la Bonnie Hunter.  These are great for making bonus triangles for future projects.  I have no idea what I'll use them for, but I have an addiction to crumbs!
For more great colour options, be sure to visit Bonnie's Linky Party on her blog!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Celtic Solstice, Part One

Now that I have selected my fabrics and organized my instructions and tools, it's time to start cutting!
I have had the Tri-Recs rulers recommended by Bonnie for a couple of years now, but have never used them.  She provided some great videos and directions on how to use them in her Part One post, and I was able to make a perfect block right out of the gate!
I also made use of my smallest scraps, as small as 2 1/2 x 3 1/2", for the side pieces of the Tri-Recs.  I tried to be frugal when I cut the triangle portion out of some charm squares:

But it wasn't worth the effort.  Instead, I was able to get 2 side pieces and a triangle out of a charm square:

I'll save the side pieces and if I don't use them in this project, I'm sure there will be another one.

I was also able to get 4 side pieces out of a blue charm.  By layering 2 pieces right sides together, I am able to get both a left and a right-facing piece (very important!).
So far, I have finished 19 orange and 16 white/blue star points.  I'm using Bonnie's suggestion to pin them in groups of 10, so I don't have to keep recounting.

My baskets are full and ready to keep going!
I'm starting out by only making half of the blocks required for the smaller size, as I will probably make this one twin-size.  That means I'll be doing 46 orange/blue units and 48 white/blue units. I'm also going to finish up my Christmas projects before I come back to Step One, which means I will probably have parts of Steps Two and Three done before I get back to it.
And, happy, happy, joy, joy!  I got the call to pick up my Easy Street quilt!  It has to be bound before Christmas so that one goes to the top of the list once I pick it up.
I am documenting my Celtic Solstice project more formally this year. Check out these previous posts for:
How I selected my fabrics here:
How I get organized before starting here:
If one person can learn something from my posts, I will be thrilled.  In the meantime, I'll be sewing!
Be sure to check everyone else's progess on Bonnie's Linky page!

Terri in BC

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 48

No finishes this week, but progress on some Christmas projects!  Hopefully, I'll get all those done this week.  In the meantime, I have started Celtic Solstice, Bonnie Hunter's newest mystery quilt.
I have done the last two mysteries, which means I have pretty much used up any neutrals I had in my stash.  That meant a trip to Hamels was in order!
After looking around, I decided on a single fabric for my neutrals.  I choose this:

A white-on-white swirl that I found in the wide-back section - at 108" wide, I only needed to buy one metre (but I'll count it as two for my stash report).
While I was at it, I found the perfect binding in the clearance section.  I only paid $5/metre for this orange stripe (from Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille) and the orange fat quarter:
I also got a metre of the large floral from Marmalade, but missed taking a picture of it.  While I was at it, I added some fat quarters for my I-Spy stash:

I'll also use the yellow in Celtic Solstice.  And I've started a collection of text prints and added this to it:
And last but not least, a couple of Fat 1/8's (Aspen by Basic Grey prints) to add to some Christmas projects (sorry for the fuzzy photo, I was anxious to get started).
Grand total added 5.75 metres - better get cracking on getting those finishes out of the door!

Added since my last report: 5.75 metres

Added Year-to-Date: 206.25 metres
Used since last report: 0 metres
Used Year-to-Date: 87 metres
Net used/Added for 2013: 119.25 metres
Next year, I'm going on a fabric diet! 

For more stash reports, be sure to visit Judy's blog at Patchwork Times.

Celtic Solstice, Organizing

This is the third Bonnie Hunter mystery I have participated in, and along the way, I have developed a few tricks that I thought I would share.
First up, I have a binder specifically for my Bonnie Hunter clues and patterns.

Now that I finished Easy Street, I have taken it out of the binder and recycled it (if I need it again, I'll have Bonnie's new book that will be coming out in the spring). 

As I print each part, I flag it with a post-it note (I also recycled those!)
I keep the templates needed for this mystery in a page protectors, and I have the instructions for my leader-ender project front and centre!  This year, I am doing Moth in a Window blocks for 2 quilts for my sons-in-law. (I remove Bonnie's Addicted to Scraps articles from Quiltmaker magazine and put them in this binder for easy reference; I also print any free patterns I want to make in the near future)

All of the units for Easy Street finished at 3 1/2", and since I don't have a 3 1/2 square (not even sure if there is one), I put guidelines on one of my 4 1/2 squares to make it easier to square up!  I've been able to put it to good use already for Celtic Solstice.

Pardon the photo angle, it looks like it doesn't line up but it does. 
I used  Glow-Line Tape bought at my favourite Local Quilt Shop, Hamels Fabrics to mark the block.  I also use this easily-removed tape to mark guidelines on my sewing machines as well as my rulers. I have also marked my 6 x 12" ruler at the 2 1/2" line (from the opposite side, that gives me a 3 1/2" measurement. It has saved me from a lot of mistakes.
Next up, on Monday morning, I'll share some cutting tips and my progress with Step One.
Thanks for visiting,
Terri in BC

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pulling for Celtic Solstice!

Since it's only 4 days until Bonnie releases her first clue for this year's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice, I figured it was about time I pulled my fabrics.  This is the third year I done her mystery and love the stress relief it brings me over this busy time of year.  I also suffer from SADS (Seasonal Affective Depression Syndrome), so having something to look forward to gets me through the dark days of winter north of the 49th parallel.
I joined a group on Facebook of fellow mystery quilters that grew so quickly they had to close the membership after it reached over 2,000 members.  There has been a lot of discussion of what to pull so I thought I would share my thought processes here.  If you came here from the group, welcome!  I hope you enjoy it and maybe learn something.
Before I talk about my selections, I'll show how I organize my fabrics. I have followed Bonnie's Scrap-User system for about 3 years now, and the top row of my bins collects my strips as I cut them, plus strings and selvedges.
The second shelf of bins holds fat quarters and fat eighths, sorted by colour (under the shelves are my bins of zippers, bias tape and misc. notions).  PS: I hacked my ironing board/shelves out of an IKEA shelf - you can read more here.
Off to my right, I have started organizing my yardage on comic book cardboards (this is anything that is full width-of-fabric (WOF) over about 1/3 of a yard.
Finally, when I have time (or I'm looking for specific colours of strips like I was tonight!) I sort the strips I have cut into these drawers:
I cut my scraps into strips of 1 1/2", 2" 2 1/2" and 5" (which I can cut down if Bonnie calls for 3 1/2" or other size strips).  Each bin holds a specific colour from top to bottom: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Aquas and Teals, Blues, Purples, Light Neutrals (including whites and creams) and Dark Neutrals (including brown, gray and black).  Ideally each drawer looks like this:
(with leftover HSTs from other projects), but in reality most look like this:
These are the neutrals I'll be using for Celtic Solstice ( I may pull out the darker cream ones).
So far, I have only gone through the drawers and bins of precut strips:
Oranges and Yellows
I may need to pick up some more bright yellows, but I'll wait until I've seen the clues to do that.  I surprised myself with the number of oranges I had.
And here are all the colours together (the oranges decided to hide) :
Next up, I'll start digging into my fat quarters and fat eighths, but again, I do that as I review the clues and look for more variety. 
Is it bad that I want to skip my work Christmas party Friday night so I can sew instead?  I probably won't be able to it until Sunday, but I'll be thinking about it all weekend. 
Have a great week,

Terri in BC