Monday, November 30, 2015

Twice the Mystery

I've done Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts for years now. I've often heard of women doing two different colorways at once, and thought they were a little nuts. Well, I've joined them, and I'm doing two colorways this year. Whether both will end up full-sized versions is still undecided, but we'll see.

My daughter (DD#1) who lives in South Africa chose both colorways, with a few stipulations from me.

I wanted to use men's shirts for one colorway. She was debating between yellow and tan, and I substituted a constant gold. I am substituting the colors as follows

Bonnie's neutral = white
Bonnie's red = blue
Bonnie's black = red
Bonnie's grey = gold
Bonnie's gold = green

So, for clue one, instead of neutrals and grey, I was using neutrals and gold.

 I have 200 done so far, with the rest cut and ready to sew.

For colorway #2, I wanted to use a purple background. It really doesn't photograph well, but it is purple, not blue.

My substitutions are as follows

Bonnie's neutral = purple
Bonnie's red = lime green
Bonnie's black = pink
Bonnie's grey = yellow
Bonnie's gold = orange

So, my clue one colors are purple and yellow.

Again, there are 200 done, and the rest are cut and ready to go.

I am really glad I took the time to straighten up my scrap user system before the mystery started. They were a mess from pulling from them all the time, and now they are sorted, and I can pull from the strip drawers first, and use yardage to fill in any colors not plentiful in the scrap user system.

I am working on sewing Christmas gifts too, so I have no plans to keep up. Bonnie always makes the first clue an easy one, so I would imagine I can finish all of clue one before clue two comes out. I am dividing my time by working on Christmas gifts during the day, and working on the mystery at night. Friday daytime I did pull strips from my strip drawers, and Friday evening I got out my Easy Angle ruler and cut all of one colorway, while I cut the other colorway Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, after spending all morning on Christmas sewing, I spent two hours sewing, and got 400 HST's sewn up. They go pretty fast when they are already paired up before you cut.

I chain pressed short chains of HST's, then cut them apart and cut off the dog ears while watching a comedy show with DD#2. If I can find the time to finish up clue one this week, I will, if not, it's fine, I already made more of unit one than I thought I'd get done right now.

I'm not pressuring myself to have each clue done before the next comes out. I have lots of Christmas sewing to do, along with lots of other holiday related things to do. The thing is, I like the mysteries during the holidays. It gives me an excuse to carve out some time for me, and something I want to do. It's easy to kind of lose yourself during the holiday rush. The mystery quilts give me more to do, yes, but since quilting is my sanity time, it also helps keep me grounded.

On clue one, I cut enough for the full-sized quilt, but whether I continue to do that or not remains to be seen. HST's I can always use, so I had no qualms about cutting for the full sized quilt, even though I might do smaller versions. I'm just taking it one clue at a time, and I'll decide as I go. If I cut for the full sized quilt for every clue, the mystery quilts could always be leader/ender projects for next year.

If you'd like to see how other people are doing on the mystery, check it out here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

An Autumn Wedding

God heard the prayers for good weather for the wedding! It was 76F, a little windy, and sunny. The venue had lovely grassy areas, with lots of trees dropping their yellow leaves in the breeze.

This is one of my favorite photos from the wedding that I've seen so far. The bride was just out of the groom's sight, and they were praying together before the ceremony.

Here's a photo of the twins getting ready for yet another stint at flower girl/ring bearer. These kids should be pros at this by now, it's their third time doing it.

The twins loved playing in the leaves! The trees in our yard don't change color, they just fall off, so they had a blast filling Mr. L's cowboy hat with leaves, throwing them up in the air and yelling, "It's autumn!"

DH and I only managed to dance one dance at the wedding, because we were busy doing things, but we got to do the anniversary dance. If you've never heard of it, all the married couples start out on the dance floor, and the DJ announces different increasing time periods, one day, one month, six months, 1 year, 2 years, etc... If you've been married less than that amount of time, you have to leave the floor, so obviously, the bride and groom are the first gone. Surprisingly, we were the last on the floor with almost 32 years. There were actually a couple people married longer than us at the wedding, but they didn't dance, so we won that by default. All I could think was, "I don't feel old enough to be one of the longest lived couples." ;-)

While I was busy with wedding stuff, a fabric fairy came and dumped more fabric in my sewing room.

The fabric fairy was really my MIL, and she decided the quilts she had planned on making were never going to happen, so she passed the fabric on to me, knowing I'd use it.

Oh, and those sunbonnets?

Here are the other five, before I added lace and ties. They are all finished now, and on their way to South Africa.

This is the granddaughter the sunbonnets are for. Using dirt as sunscreen is and interesting technique, but I'm hoping the sunbonnets will keep her really pale skin from burning.

I finished washing up all the wedding linens today, and I repacked the decorations that ended up at my house. The newlyweds can pick it all up after their honeymoon.

I finally managed to go to the grocery last night, and pick up what I'll need for Thanksgiving dinner. I already know I forgot a couple things, but at least the turkey is thawing in the fridge! It's a small gathering this year, I think around 13 for dinner, and 17 for dessert. Perhaps by the weekend, I'll be back to sewing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Misc. Projects

I finished the last of the wedding projects, for the wedding on November 21st.

I made four of these table runners, to go on the tables that the bridal party will sit at. They are all starched and pressed, and wrapped around a cylinder so they won't wrinkle.

I finally got around to making some sun bonnets for my youngest grandchild. She's a redhead, and fair as can be, so keeping her covered in the sun is a necessity.

This is the only one completely finished, but three more are started, and I have two more cut out, so she'll get six total. I'm hoping to get them finished this weekend, so I can mail the last Christmas package to South Africa next week. It's spring there, so the sunbonnets should come at a good time, just in time for summer.

Besides finishing the sunbonnets, I'm not likely to have any sewing time in the next two weeks, with company coming, a wedding to help with, then Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving I'll be starting the mystery quilts, and ramping up the Christmas sewing. It will be busy for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making Time for My Daughter

Bonnie Hunter of quiltville fame runs a mystery quilt every winter. This year I wasn't going to do it, because I have a bunch of Christmas presents to make, and I've just been crazy busy. Here's the thing, last year my daughter in South Africa chose the colors, and the quilt went to her when it was done. She loved choosing the colors, following along with the clues, and seeing how her color choices came together. This year she asked if she could choose the colors again, but she's OK with not receiving the quilt.

What to do? I am legitimately busy, but there are so few things I can participate in with my daughter overseas. I'd be fine missing this year's mystery quilt, but I'm not OK with not doing something with my oldest daughter. So, she chose colors with a couple conditions on my end.

1) I am not planning on keeping up with the clues, but I can and will make a few of each unit as I go along. I will make enough to be able to make some blocks when that time comes.

2) I will let her choose 2 colorways, with the condition that one uses the men's shirts I have, and the other uses a purple background.

3) I don't have to make these into full sized quilts, if they end up being baby quilts because that's all I have time for, that's what they'll be. That said, I'm not ruling out full-sized quilts, if I really like how they are coming out, one of both may just become leader/ender projects for next year.

For the men's shirts, she was thinking of a red and white lighthouse on the beach. She chose red, white, blue, green, and tan. This was what I pulled from my shirt stash.

The more I looked at it, the more I was unhappy with the tans, and her second choice was yellow, but I simply didn't have enough yellow shirts. She hasn't seen my change yet, but I swapped out the tans for a constant gold.

That's MUCH better! More contrast with the whites, and no matter what units it ends up being in, it will stand on it's own.

So the men's shirt colorway is pulled. For the other colorway, I wanted a purple background, because I found a purple duvet cover that was large enough to be the background, and I love using odd colored backgrounds.

I think we are going with purple and brights. She was debating another colorway, which I really liked, but couldn't have gone very scrappy on. I'm trying not to buy fabric for these. I have more of these colors, but I know I'll hit my strips drawers first, so I'm not going to bother pulling any more fabrics unless I need them.

The drastically different palettes will keep me entertained, and I can make some progress on some other projects as leaders/enders while I'm working on the mystery quilt. I think I will still have enough time to get the Christmas presents done, since I'm not trying to make all the units for both quilts. If I spend one day per week on the mystery, and just make what I can in that time frame, I will have plenty of Christmas sewing time.

I actually really like Bonnie's color choices this year, and so does my daughter. My thing is, I don't want a quilt that looks like hundreds of other quilts, thus, I switch my colors. Now my daughter has to decide which color substitutes for which color, so I can make my substitution cards to keep me straight when following the clues. If you want to see Bonnie's colors, check out her post here.

By the way, I've finished "de-boning" the shirts I bought in Flagstaff, and several of them will be used for the mystery quilt.

Another thing I did this week was make a capes for the twins to wear to Comicon.  I only had a day, so I used fleece, and faked a pattern.

Miss S is wearing her blue cape, but Mr L didn't end up wearing his purple one. Not too bad for a quickie job, and they'll be great for playing dress-up.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Wedding Preprations

Another wedding I'm helping with, more wedding stuff to do. This week we got all the wedding favors finished, I did some minor alterations on the petticoats, and I made the garter.

The bride wanted a hot pink and camo garter, so here it is. The camo fabric is scraps from the wedding quilt.

I still need to make the table runners for the head tables, but that will have to wait until the weekend. DD#3 and the twins are going to a comicon this weekend, and although they thought they'd be able to find a hooded cape to go with Miss S's costume, they didn't, so guess who is making hooded capes tomorrow, so they can use them the next day. Mr. L's costume doesn't require a cape, but as soon as he heard his sister was getting one, he wanted one too. I only have one day to make two hooded capes, so we went and bought some fleece so I didn't have to bother with hemming. I cut it really close on the amount of fleece I bought, so no scraps to deal with.

It's been a sad week around here. We had to put down our dog, the litter-mate to one we lost earlier this year. Those two dogs were so important to our family, having them both gone just breaks my heart. We got 12 years with one, and almost 12 1/2 with the other, and for their size, that is a good long life. I hope they are playing together over the rainbow bridge.

We still have one dog in the house, DD#3's puppy, who is quite the troublemaker. I'm hoping he calms down a bit as he gets a bit older. Just this week he has chewed up a Super Soaker, 2 bottle of bubbles, two dog dishes and a fly trap. He's not even a little puppy, he's ten months old now. We give him all kinds of chewies all the time, but he always finds something he's not supposed to chew on. The twins are already begging to put up the Christmas tree, but I'm wondering if the puppy is going to eat it. If anyone has any insight for us on taming an aggressive chewer, let me know. He's already been to obedience training, and will leave it when we tell him to, but as soon as we aren't watching, he's back at it.