Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skipping around on the RRCB Mystery

I have a baker's dozen of string blocks done for step 3. It's a far cry from the 60 I need, but I have been string piecing stockings too. I'm glad I went ahead and started over on the blue string blocks. I think the navy blues in the other ones I had were too dark. I love making string blocks, I even like tearing the paper off of string blocks. I usually rip off the paper when reading digests from my yahoo quilting groups, since I really don't have to look at the paper to tear it off.

Here is step 4 all finished. It was an easy step, so it wasn't hard to knock these out.

I'm still working on step 5. I have about 300 HST's sewn (200 ironed) of the 600 needed. I haven't trimmed the dog ears off yet, but I figure I'll do all of that once they are all done.

I managed to get the triangles cut for step 6, but nothing sewn on that step at all. I was hoping to do a lot more sewing done this week than has happened. My back is doing better, but I still can't sit too long in one position.

Today I didn't get a chance to sew at all. I went shopping with DD#2 for things for DD#3's baby shower on the 9th. I'm a little lost on throwing this baby shower, the last one I went to was the one some church ladies threw for me when I was pregnant with her! I imagine it will be fine, as long as the food is good, right? I couldn't find anything with twins on it, and DD#3 has an aversion to pastels, so I bought purple and blue napkins, plates, balloons, and streamers to go with her nursery colors. I found Mickey and Minnie Mouse things to put on a cake or use as decorations. I also found boy and girl rubber ducks, which I am hoping to use in a centerpiece.

***I got interrupted while writing this post, so I went upstairs and sewed while I talked to my best friend on the phone (gotta love headsets). I sewed another 200 HST's while we talked, so only 100 more, then a bunch of ironing :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Quilty Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas, albeit a bit early due to work schedules. I had asked everyone to chip in and buy me EQ7, and they did! I am so excited to try it, but I'll probably end up waiting a few more days. DH also bought me 12 fat quarters, and DD#2 bought me some quilting happy socks. I usually wear happy socks (what I call socks with weird designs on them), and these are my first pair of quilting socks.

A friend of DD#3 who really appreciates my cooking also bought me some fabric. He got me these three pieces, all tone-on-tones. He's got a great eye for someone who knows nothing about quilting! The funny thing is, I have been thinking about making a quilt with a black background, and two of these fit the bill. I really need some more black-on-blacks if I'm going to make the quilt in my mind. I have pretty much chosen the colors, just not the pattern.

I haven't gotten any sewing done in the past few days. I'm hoping to get a bit done tomorrow, but we'll see. I hurt my back and I'm not able to sit for too long at a time. It's not too bad so in a few days I should be good to go.

I hope all of you had a fabulous Christmas too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Our tree is finally up, thanks to DD#3. She put it up all by herself and at seven months pregnant with twins that is no easy feat! I wouldn't have even bothered putting it up this year, life is so chaotic right now.

I got the front and backs made for three stockings. they aren't sewn together yet, and I know I won't get all of them done before Christmas. I do like the way they are coming out, and I think they will all look very nice next year. I let everyone pick a color, and I'm using my strings in those colors to make their stockings. I need eight stockings this year, but I'll need at least 11 next year. I decided I'd enjoy making them much more if I didn't rush so much. We'll survive a year with no stockings.

Yesterday I spent some time cutting for the RRCB Mystery. I got everything cut for steps 4 and five, even though I haven't finished step 3. I needed some more strings for step 3, so I decided that was easiest if I just cut them while cutting for the other steps, since they all needed the same color.

Here is my progress on step 3. I decided to do a dozen at a time, so when I finish five batches, I'll be done. Of course this is only my first batch, but you have to start somewhere ;-) The gray strings on the side are for DH's stocking. I keep alternating what I'm working on. I love string piecing, I find it so relaxing so this step is great for me, especially with all the chaos around.

Do you like my mountain of blue strings? I decided not to use the blocks I showed earlier, and I eliminated the navy blues from my "mountain". I thought the navy blues made the blocks too dark, but there is still a lot of variety in these strings. I hope we are done with the neutral now, if we aren't I'm going to have to go buy a few fat quarters, or use yardage for all of the last couple steps.

Today I spent helping DD#2 pack to move back home. Now I'm doing loads upon loads of laundry. Tomorrow I babysit and do more laundry. Tuesday I go help pack up DD#2 and DS the Elder's kitchen then Wednesday they move home. Thursday we celebrate Christmas, since almost everyone is working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I'm hoping to find some time to do some relaxing sewing between Christmas and New Years.

After the New Year I will switch to baby mode, and work in earnest on things for the twins. The baby shower is January 9th and I need to get everything done for that too. DS the Elder will be moving to Texas right around then, so he is just here for a couple weeks. So many changes, so much going on, that sewing is like a guilty pleasure right now. I try to steal a few minutes here and there to sew and save my sanity.

In case I don't post again before Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful loving holiday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Quilt Finishes for 2010

These are the last of my 2010 quilts. I know I won't have any more finishes this year, because I'm not even going to try. I may end up with a couple more quilt tops completed, because I have a couple that are almost done, but as far as finishing quilts go, this is it. This D9P will go to the veteran's hospital.

The grandtwins flannel quilts are finished. I auditioned a couple different colors of binding for each quilt and let DD#3 choose.

What are the quilts backed with? Mickey and Minnie Mouse flannels!

I packed the Juki away for now. I'll set it up again when I have a few tops ready to quilt, but for now, its cabinet is closed :-(

Now that my quilting spree is done, it's on to Christmas chores and other work. Two of my kids are moving back in next week, one of them for just a couple weeks, one for a few months. Lots of rearranging needs to be done for that. Add to that the Christmas baking, and present wrapping, cards to send, and maybe, just maybe, those stockings to make, and I'll be a busy woman.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Computer Quilt

Now that this quilt has made its way around the world to South Africa, and my DSIL has it, I can show it on my blog. DSIL (married to DD#1) is a computer programmer, and does web design as well. As a result, a lot of people think since he works with computers, he should be able to fix theirs.

He gets a bit tired of explaining that's not what he does, so I had someone with an embroidery machine make this, "No, I won't fix your computer, but thanks for asking" sign.

Here are some close-ups of the novelty fabrics I used. He is quite the cat person, so when I found the cat computer fabric, that one was definitely in. Some quilters from Stashbusters Yahoo group helped me with some of the fabrics since I was on no-buy at the time.

Here is a pic of most of the quilt. It is made from the I Spy with a Twist pattern by Lisa Moore. If you look at my sidebar, Ralph's woodsy quilt and Martha's angels are made from the same pattern. I've heard some quilter's say they don't like to make a pattern more than once, but this is one of those patterns that I go back to a lot. It seems completely different based on color choices, and I think it's fun to make up a good pattern in more than one colorway.

I've had some finishes, and I'll post on those soon. Some before Christmas, some after, you know how it goes this time of year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

RRCB Step 2 +

I finally finished step 2 of the RRCB mystery quilt. Here are all my HST's pinned into groups of four, per directions.

When I saw step three I was undecided as to what to do. I already have 8 1/2 inch paper foundations cut, because I had already been making 8 1/2 inch string blocks. I am using blue as my neutral/background color, and I was aiming for a medium shade of blue. The thing is, I have four blue string blocks done in the palest blues (I was going to use it in a baby quilt) and I have 8 blocks already done in the shades above, medium blues to navy. I hadn't planned on using such dark blues, but having 8 blocks already done is pretty tempting. The 4 light blue blocks are not as tempting, as I have very few light blue strings and I'd have to cut them all. Now the real dilemma, do I go for it with all the various blues, or should I start from scratch with just the medium blues? I may not have to choose for a bit, since I am up to my neck in other projects. I will have to cut more strings no matter what, but I'll raid my 1 1/2 inch strips drawers first. If I go for the shades like I have above, I probably have enough strings for half the blocks, plus the 8 already done, so that would be an advantage and I'll have less to cut.

Right now I'm leaning towards going for it. I figure the worst that will happen is the quilt will be too dark for the person I was thinking of giving it to. Then I'd have to make them a different quilt when the occasion warrants, but that's not so bad. I can always find someone who will like this one.

I got the chunky churndash quilts for the grandtwins pin-basted, as well as the D9P charity quilt. I'm working on quilting some other projects right now, but these are ready when I'm done with the others.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another D9P

I am seriously trying to finish things up before the end of the year. I had this quilt top partially assembled, and I completed it tonight. I also got the center of another quilt top together, but I need to cut borders for it, maybe tomorrow during baby's nap.

I got a bit more done on my RRCB mystery quilt. I still haven't completed step 2, but I'm close. I'm only sewing the mystery quilt as leaders and enders, and since my main projects are assembling quilts, I don't have a lot of need for leaders and enders. Every once in a while I sew up about a dozen HST's so I feel like I'm getting something done.

Tomorrow is my last day of babysitting for a couple weeks, and I'm hoping to spend quite a bit of time next week quilting. Whatever I don't have time to quilt by next weekend is not going to be quilted for a while, so I really need my time to be productive. I did get my new walking foot, and a spare as well, so I shouldn't have any problems with that. I will be crosshatching a couple quilts, so I needed the walking foot. I haven't decided what to do on the other quilts, so we'll see. I might do some free-motion quilting, I might take out some stencils again, who knows?

At the end of next week I will close the cabinet with the Juki, and it will stay closed for a while. I need it put away so I can put the Christmas tree up, but I am also rearranging the house so DD#2 can move into the family room. I will be trying to figure out how to put the furniture from the family room into the living room, and still have room to walk. I'm sure I'll be getting rid of a few things, which is no great problem. Our living room furniture is shot, so maybe by the time DD#2 is ready to move again, we might have enough money saved for some new furniture. I would imagine we'll at least be able to get some second-hand furniture then.

I still haven't managed to clear out the room that will be the nursery, so the idea of emptying out two rooms is a bit daunting. I have started moving my scrub fabric, and I've gotten more than half of it moved. I'm having to do something I never wanted to have to resort to, which is storing fabric under my bed :-( Right now I'm not making any scrubs, because I just don't have time, but I may in the future, and I also can use the fabric for quilting since almost all of it is 100% cotton. I have one shelf in the cabinet that holds the scrub fabric that is poly/cotton blends, but all the rest is cotton. Some of the fabrics that are not novelty prints, are being folded into mini-bolts and put in with my quilting fabrics now. I can only make myself fold a couple pieces of fabric at a time, since I got burnt out folding fabric this summer.

A lot of non-quilting things are taking big chunks of time right now, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. I'll feel better if I get a few more projects finished up before the Juki gets packed away, but I can only do what I can do. Small quilts I can quilt on the Bernina, and for any really big quilts I can send those off to be quilted. Maybe 2011 will be the year I get a quilt finished for our bed!