Monday, April 10, 2017

Three UFO's are Quilted and Bound

 Quilted and bound another Simple Gifts quilt and the blocks I got from Michelle recently.
 I did the April BOM for Pat Sloan's Childrens' Storytime.
 I finally quilted and bound this drunkard's path from a challenge I did for the modern quilt guild.

En Provence!  So happy it is done.  Did I mention that before?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Quilt Camp with NimbleThimbles

 I went up to quilt camp at Emmanuel Pines last Friday for the weekend.  It started snowing on the ride up and snowed and snowed!  Very little of it stuck, but it was snowing for hours.  I have not seen snow in quite awhile so it was fun--really felt like Christmas on April 1st!  I worked all day Friday and a good bit of Saturday on making Bonnie Hunter's Love Shack!  I love how it came out. It was a super fun project to do at camp because it involves lots of different  blocks.
 I have wanted to make Love Shack for a long time but it involves several patterns on quiltville (maverick stars, strings, happy scrappy houses, wonky hearts and letters) and also lots of size adjustments which are not my thing.  I was so proud of myself for figuring all this out--even though I counted the blocks wrong in the one column and so made the blocks too big and had to eliminate a maverick star or start over!  I will be keeping this one and hanging it in the living room or dining room.
 Saturday Kathy, Kathy, Becky and I took a hike to stretch after all that sewing. We wound up going four a half miles (20 min for each mile) and made it out to the road.  Really good conversation all the way too. So glad to have quilty friends who sneak exercise in too!
 Saturday night Barb helped me make sixteen trivet Christmas presents.  I made them all out of Christmas fabric and will be making more in other fabric too.  They are made from a hexie ruler and lots of fabric folding.  The tricky part is pinning them just so.  That is the part Barb is much better at than me!  You stitch around the outside and flip them out at the center and they look great!  When I was done with all that and the quilt auction I continued working on En Provence.  This quilt A is for Adaminaby from 2012 was my auction quilt and Kathy O (the tall Kathy from the walk picture) won it for 25 dollars.  I ran across this little quilt which I had forgotten I made two of and decided it was a good auction quilt.

 Sunday morning we hung out some of the quilts (some people did not hang anything out--not sure why) and you can see the center of my En Provence on the right top.
I would never have even gotten it out if not for the fact that Marguerite had not brought her finished top and her daughter Laura was busting butt working on hers all weekend (along with other stuff).  Seeing Laura making progress motivated me to get to it!  Not sure why I was dragging my feet on it as I usually am right on schedule with getting the mysteries done but this year the trip to New Mexico to get my my son and his girlfriend and her kids (flat tire, no money and diabetic ketoacidosis and hospitalization was involved) knocked me off track.  This quilt has his hospital gown fabric in it.  Stitching the memories in.  Sunday morning I got the borders mostly made but thought I was four star point units short...turns out I was not.  I got home and discovered I started with the wrong star point color.  Of course I did not figure that out til I made the four star point and attached them.  HAHA!  Last night I fixed and attached the first borders and did some ironing.  So this morning (Monday) I attached the last border, did ironing and made the backing and cut the binding.  I still need to get a picture of it though.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bucket List Checks!

 Last Sunday my cousins and I met up at the Grand Canyon to hike Bright Angel Trail and Plateau Point!  My Uncle Rick and his daughter Lindy flew in from Wisconsin with their exchange student Caca (Katja) and a good friend of the family Kersten.  My Aunt Lisa was unable to come so Kersten was a last minute substitution and she decided to hike too.  My cousin Tricia flew in from Minnesota. We left about 8:45 AM and this first picture is the before picture!

 Rick and Kathy stayed above and spent much of the day spotting us!  I texted all day as we reached different points and they used the color of our ever changing clothes to find us!  Here we go!
 I had my first blister about a mile in!  It is so steep.  In the end I wrapped both my first and second toes on both feet.  I will prewrap and buy sock liners (a friend told me about after) if I ever undertake something like that again!  It was beautiful and so amazing to do this journey at this point in my life.  We made it to Plateau Point and saw the Hudson River far below.  Very few people were out there and it was like being alone!

One of us has a picture of the five of us out there, but I don't have it yet, so here is the one of the four of us that Tricia took.

On the way up we separated into two, sometimes three, groups.  It was 301 flights of stairs up, 12.7 miles total and took me 8 hours and 55 minutes!  The average time is 9 hours so I was pretty happy with that! Caca is a hiker she beat us by 45 minutes--she is 17.  Kersten got a migraine and was sick all the next day and in the ER.  I think she didn't have time to train though she is 20 and in great shape.  She beat us by 30 minutes.  Tricia stayed back with Lindy and I and cheered us on or she would have been up with or before the others.  The altitude was killer.  My body held up great and I felt strong, but my heart would get pounding and I needed more air way too often.  It was so much harder to breathe on the way up than I have ever experienced. 

 Here we are with a group hug at the top!  I will cherish this day always and am so proud to check it off my bucket list!

 Here are the after pictures.  We are still smiling and there is still daylight! 

 And now for bucket list item number two--you may be more interested in this one as it is quilt related! Kathy and I put some quilts in the Arizona Quilt Guild Show this year.  We ran over there and took some pictures late this afternoon. 

Kathy with Allietare!

Me with Talkin' Turkey!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Midweek Sewing!

 This week is Spring Break where I teach so I planned a little midweek sewing time at Barb's  I brought along my Playing with Jacks (which I quilted on my own following the backing earlier in the week) and put the binding on.  I am happy to cross this one off my UFO list!
Barb finished up her 35th Ave. BOM from last year so I can mail it off with mine to Alycia for QOV.  Kathy still has about five blocks to go!
 I then sewed on En Provence for the first time in forever.  I made it this far before Barb wanted to run out to the quilt store.
 This morning I did a bunch of teaching prep stuff then found myself with a little time before work (I leave in a few minutes!) so I sewed up the blocks and then laid them out to see what this quilt will look like!

Now hopefully I will get this one stitched up and off to my longarmer.  This mystery has taken me longer than any of them.  I just lost my mojo for it, strange since I do really like it!
Well, off to work!  Super excited that I am hiking the Grand Canyon on Sunday!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday was a Sewing Sensation!

 I hiked on Friday morning, then did Pilates...after a salad and a hot bath I sewed and sewed and sewed.  I started out with the 35th Ave. BOM for February.  Got it done just under the wire!  Today I picked up the one for March.
 I am super happy to say  am motivated to finish off a bunch of my UFO's!  So I pulled out these Pineapple Blossom blocks from a 2015 workshop I got to go to with Bonnie.  Such fun blocks, not sure why I waited so long to get them done!  Now I have a baby size quilt ready to quilt!
 I also did the Rainbow BOM for March in red.  This is Straits of Mackinac.  Loving it!
Linking up with Angela at SoScrappy for the RSC!

I also finally dragged out the Playing with Jacks blocks from the Tuscon workshop about four years ago!  I had decided to do these blocks in modern fabrics....however when I got going I realized I did not really have enough contrast in some of my blocks and he greys really faded in and the design did not show up really well.  So they languished away for a few years.  I finally decided to take the two worst offenders out and to make six more blocks that contrasted better.  And here you have it.  Works for another baby quilt!  
SEW fun to knock two more quilts off my UFO list (well not entirely as they need quilting and binding but forward progress!).  
Today we got our March blocks from 35th Ave and had lunch with BJ.  We ran a bunch of errands and went and celebrated my nephew Colton's 4th birthday!  To top it off we headed to the casino for the first time in forever!  We won!  Kathy lost 40 bucks (plus the free 15 they have her).  I played my free 15 and won about we netted 55!  Happy campers!

Goodbye Michelle

In about 1994 I met a fabulous woman named Michelle in my American Sign Language 2 class at Phoenix College.  She was my mother's age but we hit it off right away.  She was very motivated to learn sign (and at the time wanted to be an interpreter) as was I, she was a mother of two and her older son was Deaf and had multiple disabilities.  We had so much in common that even when I moved away we kept in touch.  When I visited I would see her.  She took me to Deaf Day at the Renaissance Faire for the first time (pic below). 
 I learned in early December that Michelle was on home hospice.  She had always had many chronic health issues mostly related to her lungs and was in and out of the hospital often.  I was so shocked to hear she was on hospice. I went to see her on Dec. 5th.  She was on oxygen but looked so good.  I thought we had plenty of time to get together.  We spent a few hours mostly talking about quilting...funny enough Michelle and I both became quilters independently and we have never sewn together.  She shared all her quilts with me and this one was my absolute favorite.
 This is the pattern for reference because if her daughter cannot find the original for me to buy I may have to make my own. 
So the weekend that I was in the hospital with my gallstone issues I found out Michelle had taken a turn for the worse.  She passed away before I could get to see her though her daughter gave her my love while I was on the phone.  I will miss her always and am grateful for my own good health (other than the migraines).  They are selling the house and most everything in it so her daughter let me know I should come and go through her things.  I found these four blocks and put them into a little top already.  So sweet.

I am so happy to have this sewing box that was hers.  I have always wanted one for my living room and this one will always be special to me.  It had a tiny rotary cutter pin it in so I put that on my guild name tag so Michelle's spirit will come to Nimble Thimbles with me.
 I also bought her magazine rack.  My great grandparents had one and it is one of those things I have always wanted.  Love it and will never part with it!
 I also bought her quilt rack.  I do not have one and this one displays quilts really nicely.  The quilt on the front was made by Michelle too.

Of course I did get some fabric and sewing odds and ends too.  I hope Michelle is smiling down to see her things being used and loved.  I will be sewing with Michelle for awhile--with her things anyway--wish we could have had that sew day. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lists and Finishes!

 I am super happy to report that I finished tying and binding the second eye spy quilt that my daughter wanted (for friends who are having babies).  I usually do not do that kind of thing but she never asks for anything so I decided to do them.  She in return is buying me a open toed foot for my Bernina--was going to order some fabric on her nickel but I really do not NEED anymore at the moment so I decided to get something more practical.
Now where the lists come into this post.  I am loving those Projects at a Glance sheets I wrote about a post or two ago.  I had absolutely no idea how many projects I let accumulate.  I always say I am a finisher and I am!  I updated my Pinterest (in sidebar) for the WIPS/UFOs and seriously think I have accounted for them all by now.  Lord I hope so!  So here is what I have going on:
Handwork in Progress--3
Works in Progress still being stitched-20
Works in Progress to be quilted or tied by me-13
To be Longarmed-8
That is after I accounted for these two easy finishes.  I quilted and tied them so I could check them off--see the lists are working already!
 Not the best picture, but this is Strip Twist made in 2014.  I have had it pinned and ready to practice quilting on it since then.  Happy to have it done and it will soon be gifted as I know of four babies in utero right now!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas tiny tablerunner also is quilted and bound.  Not great, but done. 

In all my listmaking I was able to put my hands on the RSC BOM blocks for both January and February so I could get a picture of them together.  LOVE Quiltville's Straits of Mackinac!  Looking forward to the next month's color!
 Last Tuesday Kathy went to guild with me (she is a member this year due to Bonnie's workshop) and we played Quilt-O.  Super fun and she won twice and me once.  I am now doing the blog and facebook pages for our guild too.  So hopefully I will be better about doing my own blog again!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hexes and UFO's!

Okay it is hexies and UFO's not hexes, but it was a fun title!  We have been super busy and running like crazy lately.  Last weekend we went with the family to Mund's Park and stayed in a cabin.  The kids played in the snow and we played lots of board games and went to a wine tasting.  It was fun.  I managed to finally sew all but two of my hexi flowers onto the taupe fabric they needed to go on.  The UFO number for #APQResolution was #8.  It should have been this hexie project below, but I misread it and skipped right to the hexie flower one.  Then today I had to time to prep up stuff for this one even though I had decided to continue to just do the other one.  This is Bonnie's Little Bit Hexie.
 My borders do not quite fit, so I tucked it away until its number is drawn or I feel like fixing it and went back to working on the wrong (but now right) hexie project.
 You may remember this is the project from the Quiltville Caribbean Cruise in Oct. 2015.  I made one hexie each day of the trip in modern fabrics.
 I love how it came out with the arrows!  This is just a fun wall hanging for me so I will add it to the stack of to be quilted flimsies.
Barb sent me a link to a cool blog with projects at a glance pages and full pages for each project.  I am a list maker so I printed some out and put them in a three ring binder.  I was SHOCKED to discover that I could fill up an entire page with works in progress/UFO's!  There are twenty lines on each page.  I have not even started the page for those that need quilting.  That is next.  Really fun to cross things off (just crossed off most of the first one with Hexie Flowers) and also to remember what all I have going. 
I started another page of "quilts I want to start" and have twelve on there already.  Sheesh, I know lots of quilters have lots more of these than I do, but I do not like having so many in progress.  Many of them are super close to flimsy stage so I am happy to be doing the UFO challenge and to knock them off the list. 
My Pilates instructor broke her knee a few weeks ago--so no Pilates.  She should be back at it soon.  Meanwhile I have gone back to hiking and I love it again!  I am actually training to do about 12 miles at the Grand Canyon in March.  My cousins are coming in from Wisconsin and Minnesota to hike.  I am up to four miles and need to keep on upping it!  My knee is holding up and I have a break in my day that while the weather holds out two days a week I can hike midday.  The good news with all this is my weight loss started moving again!  I was down 115.6 pounds this morning!  It also happens to be three years I have been going to Weight Watchers.  Year one I lost 81.4 pounds, year two 24.4 pounds and year three 9.8 pounds.  Slow and steady but what a difference! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

February Goals Progress

 Last Friday after an early morning shift I sewed at Barb's.  We had planned to go to the Rusty Barn Quilt show the Friday before but I wound up in the hospital with another gallstone and got pancreatitis.  UGH!  Seems like the stone passed (or fell back down so pain went away) and this week I got to hiking FOUR times!  I did not realize it had been nine months since I had hiked.  I really missed it.  I am super sore though.  And I am happy to have gotten back to it now because my Pilates instructor shattered her knee (skiing--a snowboarder plowed into her).  I am at 111.6 down.  Super slow but not going up so I am happy about that!
 So I joined the All People Quilt UFO Challenge and they pulled #8 for February which is my "Little Bit Hexie" so I depapered them all and spray basted and pinned them to the squares.  I think I am going to try to hand attach them.  These are the little flowers I made each day on the Quiltville Cruise in October 2015.
 I also made both of my "Straits of Mackinac" blocks in the Rainbow BOM color of aquamarine.  It is not too late to join in if you want to go visit Angela's blog.  So fun to have a simple goal and a place to link up!  This group has grown and grown over the years and I have made friends of many of the participants.  I love to see what block or project everyone chooses to work on all year!
I also made block two of the Pat Sloan's BOM for 2017.  Barb and I are both doing this one.  Nice to use up scraps and be surprised by how it comes out.

In other news, Kathy was super happy the Patriots won last night.  It was quite a nailbiter for awhile and then there they were!  I do not have as much time to sew as I would like...I am teaching three classes this semester (and interpreting too) and the prep keeps me busy.  One of the classes is a new much work setting everything up,  Should be easier here on out though because I will finally have the basics together and can just improve as I go! 
I entered two quilts in the AQG Quilt Show in March.  I wanted Talkin' Turkey which I made for the Rainbow BOM to be shown.  I am not that kind of quilter and wish I could enter without getting any feedback. I have heard they are super picky and none of that matters to me.  That has held me back from entering anything but I could not resist this time.  The other one I entered it the mystery I made with my guild.  It is nothing to write home about at all, and my colors were the peaches--it is a bit much, however those in the guild who did it are entering them as a group thing to represent our guild so I went along with it.  I need to make and attach the binding to it soon.  Kathy is also entering for the first time!  Her Allietare is going to be in the show.  She got half the binding on yesterday.  We also need to make quilt sleeves for them all too.