Saturday, December 31, 2011

NYE Mystery 2011

Today was Ann B. Smith's NYE mystery. Above are a few of my pictures. All my blocks are done for a lap size but I am not sure that it isn't WAY TOO BUSY and needs sashing or something to tone it down so I haven't sewn the blocks together. Kathy came over (below is her fabric and how far she got, she will return tomorrow to sew some more). The day started out with a migraine and we whizzed through the first clue and then sat around for an hour waiting on the second clue (that has never happened before) I think it was because we did strips instead of squares so the nine patch parts went quickly. I did twenty Orca Bay units while waiting and later on Randy got in on the ironing and ironed all of the rest of my clue ones...yay, tomorrow I hope to sew them together. Anyways somewhere around clue two or three I had my head down at my sewing machine and Kathy told me to take a sumitriptan and lay down for a bit. Thankfully the migraine did fade considerably and has stayed away all day.
It was a rough day around here anyways and I didn't really enjoy all the triangles in the quilt and everything I sewed was wonky. There were plenty of tears and after Kathy left I went and layed down again fully intending to just go to sleep. DJ came in and cheered me (even brought me flowers and a new year's hat) and I came out to see Randy ironing trying to help me along. I am sure lucky to have so many people that love me even when I am crabby. So I finished the blocks and finished an audiobook and started another one (thanks Ros). It wasn't the day I hoped for but at least I got to sew. Tomorrow I will get the top and backing together and keep working on Orca Bay. Bonnie's last clue comes out and I am excited for the big reveal.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Still Swimming in Orca Bay!

Can you see that I have made progress on Orca Bay? I worked on it a little bit last night and then again today for about ten hours! I know I made progress, but still seems I am being pulled under since Bonnie is so dependable about putting out the clues! I can't get caught up because the next one is out, and the next one and day after tomorrow the last one will be out! It has been lots of fun and this is where I am at as I head to bed. (Tomorrow is Ann B. Smith's NYE Mystery which I have done for the past six years so long day of sewing, but not sure I will get to sneak in much Orca Bay sewing!).
Clue one--the hourglasses are all sewn, cut, trimmed, de-dogeared, de-papered and about half of them are done and half are waiting to be ironed and sewn together. I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel. Spent lots of time on clue one today. (**1/1 edit**this clue is DONE!)
Clue two-the smaller yellow strings, done.
Clue three-the 350 hst's are done
Clue four-the green triangles--128 of them are DONE! This was where alot of my time went today.
Clue five-all 350 triangles are cut and thrity(** 1/1 edit ** 52) of them are assembled. Will try to sneak some of these in tomorrow.
Clue six-most darks and all greens cut, lights in strips waiting to be cut, (**1/1 edit all are cut) no blocks assembled or even laid out as sneak peak because then I will just want to skip all the previous stuff and do this clue. Trying to use it as a carrot to get me there.
Clue seven- can you hear me laughing. Nothing cut, clue barely read.
Bonnie if you are reading this, thank you for doing this every year. I really look forward to it and I feel all the quilts I make from your patterns are truly heirlooms to hand down. You rock!
So still swimming in Orca Bay (or Long Lake) and since my favorite sport is swimming I am content to stay there.

A Little Bit of This and That

Not the greatest pictures, but here is my nephew Christopher and his finance Christian (we call her Pickle) with his Quilt of Valor I made him. He was very impressed with the Navy backing fabric and seemed to really be glad to take a quilt to his apartment. He is currently stationed in San Diego with the Navy so his other quilts I have made him--well his mom won't release them to him yet!
Here is my (step) Dad with Mom looking on as they opened their quilt.
Mom checked out the label and was quite impressed (thanks again Ros). They went on and on for two days about how intricate the quilt was and were happy to have it. Not sure where they put it..I had hopes it would wind up on the guest bed (in the room we were in) but it didn't happen!
I finally decided to get the first border on Auntie's Anvil so I could see some progress on it!
Finally busted out my new sewing machine (my honey got me!). This one is really for travel is nice and lightweight and I like it already. I tried it out and got it all set for Kathy to use tomorrow when we do the annual NYE mystery.
Yesterday I finally got the binding on DJ's nephew's Christmas quilt. We have two done and one to go...their box will obviously be late. DJ didn't decide til late that we should make them quilts and there just hasn't been time!
I just used scraps of binding in the colors of the quilt. I love how that looks.
I had my last sock class today but no new pictures yet. I learned how to do the ribbing and the surprisingly stretchy bind off. I can't wait to get the first one completely done, but too much sewing to do at the moment! I spent the rest of the day sewing......but that is another post!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Secret Santa Thank You and More

First off here we are at the Grand Canyon! I had been there once before about ten years ago (not to this spot) but this is DJ, Hannah and Mac's first time. We visited the South Rim and took lots of pictures. We rode the train from Williams which I highly reccommend. It is really beautiful even if it was a bit chilly in December to visit!
This is my whole Arizona family (and my kids who travelled here from Wisconsin) on Christmas Eve. We posed for pictures in ordinary clothes, but thought it would be fun to do a Packer photo with drinks in hand. Only about two of the family members aren't Packer fans--but we are working on them. Everyone donned a Packer jersey (a few were borrowed, lol) and we included a few of the dogs (I have Bug) and amidst yelling GO PACK GO! we got some good photos.
Now on to my Secret Santa Swap gifts. I opened them with the kids on our Christmas Eve. This is a cool bag to put in all kinds of goodies for sewing. I already filled it for my next trip to June's or Ros' for sewing. Can you see it is made from Denyse Schmidt fabric? I love it!
Speaking of DS you see all the beautiful fabric from her line Shannon got me? She also sent several homespuns which I will be adding to my scrappy quilts..I love the plaids. Oh and some love candies too. Here is a picture of all of my loot. I was squealing with joy with every gift I opened. Shannon nailed the fabric I liked and made me SO MANY goodies. I got a sewing machine cover (which I needed!) The cutest pincushion ever, pins, needles, notebooks, including one with a handmade cover and a note inside, and a really cute thread catcher too. I love that it all matches (from the same DS line) and was made especially for me. I have to say I got a lot of fun gifts for Christmas but these really were the highlight (shh, don't tell everyone else) because Shannon really took the time to get to know me through my blog! I am such a lucky Santa Sack 2 participant. Thanks again Shannon! I love it all very much!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hope you had a MC

Go Pack! We enjoyed the game half with my mom and dad and kids and half with my sister and her partying group. They have a bar on their porch with TV and a little heater so we watched the game outside there though it was a bit nippy for AZ. Night time it does get cold here. Good time to use our new Christmas sweatshirts!
Here is my entire family on my mom's side that was here for Christmas Eve. We donned our Packer gear and our drinks (mine was diet Dr. Pepper) and snapped a zillion pictures. Got a few dogs in the photo too, but there were more inside.

Here is my sock coming along...I figured out how to close the heel with the help of memory from class and you tube. Then I opened up the leg--cutting that stitch was afraid I would lose the whole thing, but it worked. Now I am working up the leg! Won't be long and I will be on sock number two!
I got lots of fabric for Christmas..from DJ, from my Santa Swap Partner Shannon and from my Dad who had my name for the stocking drawing. We haven't uploaded photos yet (these were off facebook from my phone or my sister's uploads) but will have lots to show you as we are off to the Grand Canyon in just a few minutes!

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Drowning in Orca Bay!

I am drowning in Orca Bay! Bonnie decided to be nice to the Aussies and send along the next clue a day early when I hadn't really gotten to the last clue. Oy Vey! I did sneak in about two hours of sewing, cutting, pressing, ripping and organizing and just for the heck of it ONE triangle for clue five. So here is where things stand:

Clue one is still a little over half done (and I need them for step six so...). Clue Two and Three are DONE! Clue Four is over half done at 70/128. Clue Five has 1/350, smile though all the triangles are cut and all the hst's are ready to be sewn (I won't mention I sewed about ten of them together INCORRECTLY because in my mind I lay them out like Bonnie does and then upon further inspection I have turned the hst's the wrong way, close but not quite. Did manage to rip all that out and return to the stacks). For Clue Six all I have is a few neutral squares cut out. I
may bring the fabric with me to my mom's tomorrow in the hopes that in the few days we are there I might get a chance to cut all of the stuff for Clue Six. I am enjoying it and my hat is absolutely off to anyone who is managing to keep up. And for those of you doing two and keeping up--well you must only eat, sleep and sew! SMILE.
My younger two kids arrived on Wednesday night from Wisconsin (CJ is already here with me). So very good to see Hannah and Mac! It has been a wild few days already. I had to work yesterday then we went shopping for a bit and came home and I taught Hannah how to knit! She is working on her first dishcloth in purple of course.
Last night while we were doing that, DJ went to urgent care, then to the ER, then they kept her overnight. Finally got to come home today and they think she just has a skin infection but they were worried had infection in her abdomen and could need surgery! It was crazy, but I think they were just being cautious. We hope so anyway.
So this afternoon we made my Great Grandma Myrt's Cornflake Cookies and some Rollout Sugar Cookies (from a Tupperware recipe I got way back when) and we only frosted enough to sample. The rest are waiting for us to get another burst of energy. Those babies are labor intensive, lol. We also made dips to take to Mom's but I still need to make Vegetable Pizza. Lots of vege chopping in my future.
Oh, notice the tiny rolling pins? We actually used kid sized ones from our play-doh supplies until I found my rolling pin which hasn't seen the light of day in several years!
So the kids are keeping me busy as well as my sock knitting. I went to class on Wednesday (was supposed to be the last class...we started out with five gals, last week we had four and this week we had two...and neither of us are done so he agreed to meet with us again next week Friday!) and they were impressed with the improvement of my sock knitting and helped me get in the lifelines on this sock and such. Learned how to do the kitchner stitch (I think it is called) in which to close up the heel which I am going to finish soon. I am loving it now that I sort of get it.

It is farther than this already but haven't got a more current pic yet.

Here is the quilt label Ros made for me that I sewed on Mom and Dad's quilt. Can't wait to give it to them tomorrow! I also sewed Christopher's label on.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ann B. Smith's NYE Mystery is Cut...

Here are the color choices I went with for the NYE Mystery. Kathy and I spent the day cutting and bagging the clues. I only had one small meltdown since I was careful to cross out the directions we didn't need (they are all on one sheet for scrappy or non scrappy, etc) but then forgot to tell her the lap size clues and instead did the crib size. Realized the error when we were almost done and could not believe it. So we basically had to start over and the confusion of cutting two quilts scrappy (usually we don't do scrappy on these NYE's) and what was in the bag already and we else we had to cut...well it wasn't pretty. So much for a stress free start!

The day did end better though with (as far as we could tell) all the clues cut into the right and labeled bags. I forgot to take a picture of Kathy's before cut fabrics but on the left are her clues and on the right are mine. She went with batiks (blue, purple and green) and is donating the leftover fabric to my stash since I supplied her with the white on white (thanks BJ and Ros for telling me where to get a screaming deal on that--I still have about 4 yards left and may get up there to get some more to replace what we used today).

We did get some black/brown triangles cut for Orca Bay clue five today too. We also cut triangulations and depapered and ironed them as well. So update on Orca Bay is Clue one: 128/224 done, Clue two: DONE, Clue three: 278/350, Clue four: 54/128 (I sewed some of these while the cutting was going on!) and Clue five: none, but ready to sew. HAHA, I will get there, one cut and one stitch at a time.

DJ bought me some flowers today too :)Now we are watching "The Help" and I am going to see what can be done about my messed up sock...I dropped some stitches and made the mistake of taking it off the needles to fix it (now I know better) and I can't get the stitches back on the needles. Seriously sock knitting is tough!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lil' Twister Come Around Again :)

Bug likes to be in all the photos and break in each little quilt I finish! So here she is trying to be in the picture or get in my lap! But behind her you can see much unpicking commenced and now I have another quilted and bound Lil' Twister! Hopefully by now you have forgotten just how bad my grey snowflake quilting was...this is just simple straight lines in white and it looks MUCH better. It makes me smile so I may just keep this one for a bit.

I did get some time to work on Orca Bay but didn't get a picture on my camera though not much new and exciting anyway. I almost have clue three done which is a good thing because Bonnie gave us clue five today and it uses those little hst's to make bigger triangles. So I will try to finish up clue three and get started on clue 5....not sure if I am liking working in ADD fashion and out of order, etc. I am very methodical and I have discovered that I like to finish a clue before moving on to the next one, but I am more motivated to keep up if I don't feel AS behind. So half a dozen of one, six of the other as my grandmother used to say. I am working all day today (blogging while on hold) but will be getting to this tomorrow--finally!

The plan is to cut fabrics for the NYE Mystery and to work on Orca Bay/Long Lake, Wisc. as much of the day as I want to. So excited that my Saturday work schedule is done for this semester! That took up way too much of my sewing time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This Just In: Orca Bay Sees Progress!

Can I get a whoot whoot? Finally got in some sewing time today. Had to work EARLY but got a few hours in after that, then went to another job and some time to sew again after another hour I go in and close the center (that I opened in this AM) kind of a wild day. But no migraine and I got to sew, so a good one. Orca Bay clue two is officially done! Clue three saw progress on cutting, depapering and ironing too. More to go on that, but getting there. Clue one may never be done since I have to go back and figure out how to get the colors in the right place with my triangulations papers or just do it Bonnie's way which works too. Clue four did see several blocks done and cut in half so I am overjoyed with the progress finally.
Don't burst my bubble and remind me Bonnie is throwing another clue at us tomorrow morning and I work all day! Saturday I will be cutting out my NYE Mystery and bagging up the clues, but other than that I plan to keep on keeping on with Orca Bay (or as I call it Long Lake, Wisc).

Here are my squares before I cut them in half...really loving how the greens are all different shades and so peaceful looking! Can't wait to see how Bonnie brings this one together!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sock Knitting--An Adventure I Won't Soon Forget!

Here is what my sock is looking like right now, but let me tell you (or show you) the adventure I have been on this last week to master the art of sock knitting. I really am proud of how far I have come this week (with the help of a teacher at the Fiber Factory) but oh man this is no adventure for the weary!
My first sock was with different yarn. I kept doing things wrong so my teacher had to fix it over and over. Just before leaving the first class I realized I was doing each row instead of each round and that was the majority of my issue. Apparently no one else has done this in this class. LOL, I told the teacher that I was a BEGINNER! I only know how to make one pattern of dishcloth and can manage a scarf. So after ripping out and redoing it three times in that yarn I decided to break into the rainbow yarn and give it a go. The toe takes some doing, and now that I had redone it about eight times it makes sense to me.
So looks like it is coming along...
All week trying really hard...
Then suddenly I realize I have turned it all around and am now knitting on the inside and not on the outside. Makes for a great gnome size cap. Couldn't bear to rip it out, so I grabbed more yarn and started over--AGAIN.

Ripped to the last correct part, or so I thought.

And started the next sock in the same colors. See how my toe is getting better each time? LOL.
I do a lot of knitting in the car as the photos might show. It is one place I can eek out a little more time!
Each color added it so exciting! See the pin? I dropped some stitches and didn't realize it til rows later. DJ ran it in to the shop while I was working to see what could be done. It turns out what could be done was more ripping.
So here we are again with a shorter sock and no hope it will be to the point in which our homework required by class time.
This is about the point I made it to before the second class. The teacher said it is looking good and I have taken to the magic loop. So all is not in vain apparently. I do love the actual knitting, but sure can find the hard way to making ONE sock. I really hope I can get up to the spot we are supposed to be for class next week.
Of course that entails doing the "lifelines" on my own that two other gals did in class today. I should say there were five of us and one didn't show today. Two are doing great (they are experienced sock knitters new to this pattern) and one was really frustrated and ripping at our second class. I felt bad for her. She and I both had headaches and and weren't close to done with the first week's homework. The teacher said we can come early next week and hopefully get caught up!
There will be A SOCK, at least one so I can say I did it! SMILE.

May is Pink!

I finished my blocks for Princess Crown #2 and was so excited I started sewing them together.  About three fourths of the way through I real...