Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 49 (?) Really?? How time flies

So - it's Jan 31.... 49 days into my 60th year

Searching for joy and doing fairly well!  It's been a little touch and go the last couple of weeks (hence my absence) but nothing major to complain about..

I've been really busy with my quilting and crocheting projects..  I'll tackle the yarn things in a post tomorrow...

But the quilting....  I pledged last year to begin to FINISH projects.. and I did.  And I learned more and more and am even more determined to continue the 'finishing' journey this year.

My focus this year is three-fold:
              #1: to continue work on (and finish!) projects left over from 2007-8 when I first started quilting.
               #2.  To continue learning from classes, from the internet, from books... wherever I can... (to work on and to finish!)
               #3.  To sort, organize, play with - USE - my fabric..... particularly scraps.
               #4 To make quilts as gifts...  I've been doing a little of that but am having so much fun that I want to continue.

So - for January..
  starting with #3 and the scraps:
      I focused on the color blue - thanks to inspiration from the So Scrappy blog ( )  Last year I had begun to separate scraps as I worked into a little chest with 3 drawers - 1-inch, 2-inch & 2.5-inch pieces, a tub with 3-4-inch, and a tub with 4+inch size pieces....    Soooo.... I went in the little plastic chest and pulled out the blue scraps and put them in 3 sandwich bags of the appropriate size.  I pulled the larger pieces and put them in a larger bag [and put the whole bit into a larger yet bag!]
    So I had a bag of BLUE to play with and have been collecting scrappy ideas all month!

          I started with the larger pieces, cutting out the appropriate size pieces for some Sunbonnet Sue and calico cat blocks.  I have set those aside (in their project bags with instructions :-) to work on later.

     On the SO Scrappy blog, they are doing a color sampler quilt with stars and I thought that was cool... but sort of got bogged down in the learning part of the 6-inch centers.... so - rather than get stalled and/or give up completely.. I decided to take a 12.5-inch star block (with a 6-inch center) and do a simple 9-patch  in the center.  I used 4-inch random blue pieces for the star points and 2.5-inch squares for the center 9 patches.

I found a picture of a quilt with color blocks and decided to do my own version with 3-inch squares..

I found a picture of a potholder that used 2-inch squares and decided to make the tops for those as a potential Christmas idea

I got hooked on the 2.5-inch blocks and decided to make an 8X8 block to do something with later.

And, finally - I have a book of ideas that use 1-inch pieces to make log cabin blocks with and decided to play.

They are all seasonal wall hangings or table toppers and should keep me busy all year.  The Easter one starts out with 35 light blue blocks and the 4th of July needs 4 dark blue....  I made a list and will work on each season as I move through the year...

That is the scraps - I kept with the blue theme though and cut out a quilt I've been wanting to make (Constellation quilt by Kitchen Table Quilting ).  So those pieces are now in a project bag waiting in line.   I started working on a quilt top I purchased from Christa Quilts called Sea of Squares  This is a quilt along but I bought the materials from her and they are BLUE.  I am using it as a leader-ender project and it's moving along..

#4 - gifts:
   First off - I'm collecting scrappy gift ideas (like the potholders) for Christmas and will be working on those as I go through the colors....  I like the idea of starting the Christmas gift projects NOW.
    Second - a little book called Gabby Quilts with Friends by Michael McCormick inspired me to make quilts for my grandgirls....  I finished the tops this month.

One of my girls loves blue - and one loves pink..

I've decided to make another 'book' quilt for the backing and add pockets for the books on both sides.. so stay tuned!

And another gift quilt I saw on Kitchen Table Quilting - Cloudy Day Quilt.  There wasn't a pattern so I chose the fabrics and went on my merry way.  I guess this is part learning goal too because I had to re-design it for myself.  Anyway - I made all the triangle blocks this month and the solid blocks cut out.  Now I need to get with the recipient to determine the layout she likes best!

And today I started 2 BLUE snowflake dresses for the grandgirls....  I also have pink fairy fabric so I will do those dresses at the same time..

Let's see... #2 - learning - I have been taking a class on an Underground Railroad quilt using the book by Eleanor Burns.  I finished the blocks from the book and am working on some specialty blocks now - I think I have 3 more blocks to finish and then, of course, assembly and all the finishing work!

    Oops - new projects......   I can't help myself!  A BOM from Pat Sloan with a vacation focus... and a new elephant on parade BOM that starts in February....  but with a new grand on the way, I have an excuse to make a quilt with little elephants on it, right?

And #1 -
     from the 'really old' projects... I have 2 really messy tops I completed in 2008 - a pink & green sampler and a very blue and white sparkly snowball quilt.  Very early learning so really crude attempts!  BUT... they are squared... and backing is ready.  These two (and a sandcastle top I made last summer) are ready to be 'sandwiched' and put in the line-up for actual quilting.

      From a class in 2013 - my Irish chain blocks (dragonflies in the pond) are assembled!

   Still need borders but I love how the blocks went together!

    From last year - 2 quilts that were pieced and  'sandwiched' - my yellow brick road (gold with red poppies) and sea star (large star of sea fabrics on a sand background).  I quilted them enough to bind.  At this point they need the binding finished, more quilting and a label.  So they are in a pile of now 3 for this part of the process.

Wow!!   Busy month!  I might need to make more than one blog post next month if I keep this up!

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