A View of My Quilt Life

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Something Wrong, Something Right

I was set on finishing the units for Clue #5 for the Mystery Quilt.  We had already done the cutting for this clue in previous weeks, making this clue all about stitching.  I cranked through the half size units and moved onto finishing the regular size ones.

Done! The next step was to stitch the squares to the rectangles.

DANG!! I grabbed the wrong color squares.  ARGH!!!  Spent some time un-sewing, drawing lines on the violet squares and re-stitching these units.

And these units went into the bin and this clue is DONE!
I've been noodling around with a few design ideas for the aged muslin collection I have.  Hopefully, it will actually become a real design and I can get cutting on it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gifts - the Pony Things

Among my Christmas gifts, there was horse stuff!

To be honest, DH doesn't ride or even horse for that matter, but he supports all of my passions.  He loves to buy me gifts of things I can use - horse stuff, quilt stuff, tea things, etc.

This year, Christmas horse gift was a new matching headstall and breastcollar set.  I love it!  I should, since I picked it out. 

This is a stock photo as I haven't been able to try it on my usual horse. I'm not quite back up to snuff to ride Stormy. With my ongoing neuropathy, I'm still taking training wheel rides on Rudy, as she is a more steady mount.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Mystery Link Up

YAY - Sewing time happened!

Finally, finally, finally!!!  I was great to get up, not have to leave the house, not have to adhere to a schedule and to just get some serious sewing machine time.

The studio was warm & toasty with the space heater fired up.  Drake loves it when it's switched on and he's snugged into a comforter, under my sewing table.  

I lit a Gingersnap cookie candle, brewed a pot of tea (in my new Downton Abbey teapot), popped in a DVD and got busy. 

Clue #4 - Done!  Clue #5 - Underway...

DH got me the teapot with matching cups & saucers for Christmas - a bit of fancy added to the studio.

Linking up with other's progress on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt HERE.

Lots of amazing quilts taking shape! Not everyone uses the same color scheme, though Bonnie's colors were very pretty. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

'Twas the Day After Christmas...

And all through the house, 
all the creatures were stirring 
cause Mom was up and heading out. 

Dressed all in layers, 
with boots laced up tight, 
no stores on her radar, at morning's first light. 

The miles clicked by as the truck went north, 
the time she did bide, 
for at the destination would be a different kind of ride.

Yes - sewing plans got short circuited yesterday as I arranged to fit in a riding lesson in the morning at the last minute. 

Then the afternoon was spent with DH as our planned date day  (bookstore, tea shop, World Market) moved a day earlier.  That means I have a big chunk of time today for sewing!  I am not leaving this house!

This is where I left off on the Mystery Quilt Clue #4 pieces late on Christmas Day - not completely finished.

Clue #5 released yesterday morning so I'll be tackling that as well.  With all the leftovers, I won't have to cook which means more time to sew! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day!

I hope everyone had a good day yesterday.  The DH & I spent a very relaxing and quiet day, hanging around the house, enjoying the peace.

The tree was resplendent, in it's corner.  Happy to report the cats have not bothered it.  

It did tip over once a few weeks ago - courtesy of Sweet Man.  He had untied it's wall tether while stringing the lights, was re-positioning the tree (by sliding the base) while lying on the floor and over it went on top of him.  I couldn't get off the couch fast enough to catch it and didn't think fast enough to get a picture! 

This was dinner - a lovely 6 and a half pound duck! 

 It was yummy and there's even some leftovers.  Add that to the brown sugar glazed ham from Christmas Eve dinner, I don't have to do much cooking over the next few days!

I received some beautiful gifts - saving those for a later post. I did get some sewing time, a unexpected gift of studio time. 

 I'll be back in front of the machine later today & tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice 2015


Yes, I am a day late on this but I was busy enjoying the fact that the days will now be growing longer here in the Northern Hemisphere.  Not that we can really tell since the Sun has been hiding behind a whole lot of grey skies lately.

As I type this, it's raining...again.  While I grateful it's not coming down as snow, (we'd be buried up to the roof line by now), the ground is completely saturated.  

The paddocks at the barn are really muddy.  I brought some home with me last night. 

Tracked some into the studio - ARGH! 

Come on SUN!! 

 We need you to dry us out a bit here.  You can keep the snow though.  I won't mind.

Oh, and Happy 500th Blog Post to Me!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mystery Quilt - Part 4

I'm pleased to be sharing my progress on Week 4 clue of the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.  Click HERE to see others progress on their quilts. 

I *thought* I'd be a little further along - like completely done with these units, but that just didn't happen.  And that's okay!!

The past weekend had me out & about finishing up the Christmas shopping.  And I also did the regular shopping.  That's something I haven't had to do this a whole lot in quite some time.  The DH usually handles this chore - he loves to add extra sweet treats to the grocery list. 

But... he's broken again. DANG!!!  Something he did or didn't do or shouldn't have done tweaked out his back but good. He is going for an MRI on Wednesday night to see what is aggravating his sciatic nerve.  His left leg is being effected - his good leg.  DANG!! 

I'll be shopping again this week for our Christmas meals.  I want to find some of his favorite foods with a few extra special things.  The four days I'm off for Christmas this week look like they are going to be really low key, focused on spending some quiet quality time together, hanging out with the furry kids. And that sounds just perfect. I'm planning on squeezing in some sewing time too! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sharing isn't Always Easy

Or Neat, as I'm finding out.

For several months, I've been working from home.  I commandeered my studio space for office work space.  You would think that since I've been doing this for awhile, I would be used to it. 

And that would be - NO!  

From July to the end of October, I was spending my 'good' weeks working up at the Michigan house.  

It conveniently had more room to spread out - work equipment in one spot and sewing stuff in another. Space sharing wasn't an issue.

The other weeks during that time frame really weren't conducive to sewing, so sharing the home studio wasn't an issue.

Fast forward to now.  Things are busy with the Mystery Quilt, a big project with work & commuting to the office some days, battling my nemesis, Fatigue, and of course, the Holidays.  I'm keeping up with everything. It's not always pretty but I'm keeping up.

Or so I thought, until I needed to plug in the mini iron.  I looked down at my power strip and saw this:


Really??!!  A rat's nest of black cords!  I count 2 different laptop power cords, a monitor power cord, a monitor video cable, a charging cord for my bluetooth, 2 different sewing machine power cords & attached foot pedals, and the bobbin winder power cord! 

Not to mention the bobbin winder, a monitor and a keyboard.  And WHY are all the cords black?  I going to have to attach color coding tape to more easily identify which cord goes to what.

Not quite as in control as I thought I was. It's clear I have some maintenance work to do. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Other Mystery Parts

Over the weekend, I managed to catch up on the Mystery Quilt Week 2 parts.

We were making headless flying geese units, or Santa hat units, if you prefer that name instead. I used the sew & flip corner method but didn't bother saving the cut off triangles this time, as you can see from the pile of trimmings.

The wee ones for the miniature quilt were a little tricky but I got them done. They wanted to shift a bit as I was sewing. 

I like the way the vibrant colors are playing with each other.

With the busyness of the season upon us, it's nice to take a break with some sewing. The Mystery is just challenging enough. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Going Green

Finally sat at the sewing machine and spent some time with fabric. YAY!!!

Wee Greenies for the Miniature Quilt
I missed the link up/update from Week 2 of the Bonnie Hunter Winter Mystery Quilt - I'll get back to that later.  

Clue #3 was four patches. Click HERE to see everyone's progress on their MQ. Check out the other colorways quilters are using - some stayed with Bonnie's colors and others went off on their own path.

I'm LOVING the lime and neutral together!

I originally planned for the lime to be scrappy, not constant. But I LOVE this lime batik - plan changed! More pieces and parts to share tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Visit to the Dune

Part of last Friday's road trip involved a short detour to New Buffalo Harbor.  This is home to the dune we climbed back in August. 

The weather was very different for our November visit.

The wind was coming out of the west/northwest - straight off Lake Michigan.  We had high winds, wild waves and cloudy skies. That didn't deter us one bit, though we made the climb up & down fairly quickly...before frostbite set in. Winter is definitely here and we won't be back until next Spring.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rainy Road Trip

Okay - I kinda fibbed when I said I wouldn't be out shopping on Black Friday.

I was on a rainy road that did involve shopping. Given the trip involves 7 hours of driving, we had to be very focused when it came to the shopping part of the day.  We were primarily hunting two saddles for a young rider. Nice, used, sound condition in the right size - one English & one Western.  We were out in Shipshewana, Indiana - site of the Semi-annual Riding Horse and Tack Sale. Rain was in the forecast but after last weekend's snow storm, I'll take the rain, thank you very much!

We did score one saddle for much less than the tagged price!

We picked up the various other items - bulk spices, a clothes drying rack, miscellaneous pony harness parts, etc.

All in all a fun but wet trip, and a very long day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hay Bag Hiatus

My workhorse Singer went on hiatus from quilting and took a journey to a far away place...

The Barn. 

For a special sewing adventure: re-working the openings on hay bags.



Nothing glamorous here - just some sewing to help out the barn.  By making the openings smaller, less hay is wasted and it slows down their eating a bit, which is better for the horses.

I got four of them done while I was there. Some of the bags need more intensive care to make them useful again. These had to come home to be reconstructed.

Nothing like reweaving fabric out of thread & air!  

There are commercially made hay bags like these with small & smaller openings.  They are about $30-40 each brand new. With webbing costing $1.25/yard, a little time and some utility sewing, we can redesign the hay bags the barn already owns. 

It's a win for everyone... except maybe the hay hog horses.

They'll get over it.

Have sewing machine, will travel.

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Mystery Quilt Time

Once again, Bonnie Hunter is doing her Winter Mystery Quilt.  This year it was inspired by her trip to Tuscany, Italy and is named "Allietare".  Click HERE to join in the fun.

Bonnie's mystery kicks off on Black Friday, with a clue being revealed on every Friday after that until the final reveal, somewhere around New Year's Day.

For someone like me who designs most all her own quilts - art and traditional, joining in on the mystery is a welcome break.  I still control the size and the colors but the design work and layout is out of my hands.  It's rather a freeing exercise in relinquishing control.

Strips cut & my other fabric choices.
I didn't get started on the first clue until Sunday, which coincided with an episode of Quilt Cam.

Since I am only making a lap size quilt, I got through the required number of HSTs fairly quickly.

Notice the two different sizes? I decided to challenge myself a little more and am also making the same quilt, same colors... in miniature. The studio may be a fairly busy place for the next several weeks.  Click HERE to check out the Linky Party to see how quilters around the world are doing on the Allietare Mystery.