A View of My Quilt Life

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.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Holiday Shopping - Our Way

No Malls.  
No starting my Holiday shopping on Thanksgiving.

 No standing in line at Midnight, waiting for a store to open. NOPE!!! 
Not. My. Thing!

But we like a good deal - who doesn't?  Our way of shopping allows us time for research & hunting, not just jumping on the bandwagon and getting sucked into those so called special deals.  DH & I have already decided on what our main presents will be. 

DH is getting a new 12 inch sliding compound miter saw.  He's been looking around for awhile now, comparing of various makes, models, features, sizes, durability, etc.  I think he's finally got it narrowed down & picked out.  He'll go get it in the next few weeks.

Kobalt 12 inch sliding saw

No sense in me trying to pick out a saw for him - it would be like him picking out a sewing machine for me. Just not going to work! Unless he found and bought a Singer Featherweight, that is.

I am getting my 10 year Anniversary band that matches my wedding band. 

It only took almost 12 years to earn it. I found one on eBay from a reputable jeweler in Milwaukee and negotiated a best offer deal on it.  The ring arrived earlier this week and I'm already wearing it - i couldn't wait! 

Though I'll have to give it back, so DH can wrap it up for Christmas morning.

Santa will be surprising us with a few small gifts but really, all the Holiday shopping is done before Black Friday and I haven't left the house at all.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful and grateful for this year!!!

DH & I will be spending a quiet day at home, just being together.  No turkey on the menu this year.  We are having bison ribeye steaks, with bacon wrapped scallops.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Zero to Twelve in Twenty-Four

That's zero to twelve inches of SNOW in just twenty-four hours!  BRR!!!

Usually our first snowfall is a little trace of snow that swirls around on the dry grass.  Not this year!  This was what's referred to as Heart Attack snow - heavy, packing, waterlogged snow.

It started late Friday afternoon and ended Saturday afternoon.  We knew it was coming - the usual weather warnings were on TV.  DH & I were prepared - food & supplies stocked for the weekend so we didn't need to go out for anything.  No reason to be out on the roads.

Hopefully, that was our big snowfall for the season...but I doubt it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Nemesis...

I have been feeling pretty good lately.  I still have significant neuropathy in my hands and feet.  I just mostly ignore it when I can and deal with it when I can no longer ignore it.

What I am struggling with is my nemesis - 

While I can put in a day's work, I pretty wiped out afterward.

Saturdays have been interesting: weekly chores in the morning + crashing naps in the afternoon = not a lot of sewing getting done. DRAT!

I know there are some things I can do to make it better. Less sugar, more veggies, lots more hydration, along with making sure I shut down earlier and make sure I'm getting enough sleep.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Other Workshop Project

No, not Santa's Workshop!

Over the Summer, the DH has put together a respectable woodworking shop in the garage.  Now that Fall has arrived, he has time to work on a few projects.  The first on the list was a saddle stand for me.

Originally, I thought I wanted it made out of cherry or hickory or maple...until I priced the lumber. OUCH!!  Since the stand is really for using not show, pine won the lumber selection contest.  

Design style was discussed, measurements were made, wood was cut and sanded, and sanded, and sanded. Rinse & repeat.

Eventually, the pieces were assembled & I was the proud owner of a new spiffy saddle stand!  This past weekend was my turn to do the finishing work on it. I didn't get any before pictures but here is the during picture - after staining and before polyurethane top coating.

It's turning out great & I LOVE it!!! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Autumn Color

Pumpkin Hunting this year was done completely by DH.  

We had scheduled the Pumpkin Hunting Day way back in January - it was locked in on everyone's calendar.  And rescheduling it wouldn't have helped anyway, as the risk of exposure was too great for me anyway. 

I think DH did a fine job picking out our fall decorations.

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

FINISH: Beauty Unfurled

Since I was crunched for time to get this done by the entry deadline, I missed a few process photo opportunities.  

Introducing... BEAUTY UNFURLED

This is my entry for the National Quilt Museum New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2016: New York Beauty.

It has special meaning for me, given the last six months. So while I would like to be among the finalists again this year, I wouldn't mind if it doesn't go traveling for over a year. Have to wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day!

to all those who have served 
this country!!!

I'll be with the DH today - honoring his service and treating him to a few goodies!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Back to the Butterfly

It was time to bite the bullet and layout the wings and into position with the body. While down on the floor, I lightly fused this so I could safely get it to the ironing board without everything shifting around. 

 It was about this time I realized an oversize ironing station would could in really handy.  Need to discuss that project with the DH.  Once I had everything fused, the trimming commenced.

Always need to take a deep breath or two before slicing off parts.  Notice I still don't have any antennae yet - working on it, working on it.

Things quickly progressed (because they had to!) and the quilt was soon a sandwich.

Up next: The finished quilt!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Color: Divergent Path

On Oct. 31st, Bonnie Hunter released the colors for her 2015 Mystery quilt: Allietare

While the colors are pretty they are not found in my stash, even though I am considering doing this quilt in either a smaller size or in miniature. 

On Facebook, I found this color inspiration:

I've always loved cymbidium orchids.  Coincidentally, I've been gathering some interesting batiks  lately that I've been wanting to play with:

So while I will be participating in Bonnie's mystery, my colors will be substituted as follows:

Red = Hot Orange
Gold = Lime
Gray = Purple
Black = Black
Neutrals = Neutrals

Let the games begin!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Out of Body Experience

The wings worked! 

Here they are just laying out on the background fabric - not fused down yet.  I had to laugh at the contrast between the Butterfly quilt and the French Country inspired quilt on the bed underneath. What a difference! 

You may notice a definite missing component to the Butterfly - the body!  I spent so much time on getting the wings right, I hadn't even drafted the body design at the point.

I wanted to keep it simple and in keeping with the fluid flowing design of the wing sections, which to me was round, round, round parts.

This is what I came up with:

Still missing the antennae. Dang - what am I going to do for that? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Right Wing

This was such a great moment to get to:

And a little scary, as I hadn't yet cut on piece of the navy blue outline pieces.  Nothing like a little stressing over the fit of the puzzle pieces to keep me on my toes!

I put the left wing sections together the same way, before tackling the outline.  To give myself some cushion,  I traced the outline pieces and then cut them out with a generous margin on all the overlapping edges.

It'a really coming together.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Puzzle Pieces Ready

All the fabric is Cherrywood hand dyed 100% cotton.  I laid out the pattern pieces on the correct color to estimate how much I needed to cut off the yardage / fat quarters to apply the fusible web.

For this project I used Wonder Under 805.  Once the fusible web was applied, I traced all the pieces for both the left and right wings, tagging them as I worked.

The most important thing to remember is to remove the paper backing from the fusible before cutting the shapes!

Once all the pieces were cut, I started assembling each section of the right wing separately. 

Right wing, section one on the wing cartoon.
This was the most time consuming, agonizing part. I worried the sections wouldn't be aligned properly to fit against the navy blue outlining.  Just had to let go and ride the wave - what would be, would be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scary Cutting Moment

No scissors fingers were harmed in the next step of the Butterfly project. 

The scary part was going from this:

to this:

There was no turning back at this point and I had to hope I had enough registration marks on the pieces, not to mention the proper coding for section, piece, fabric color, overlap edge and order of seaming together.

I wrote down everything, multiple times - just in case.  Some pieces had coding on the backside in order to construct the  partial left wing. 

Up next: Working on the pieces.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm Baaaack!! and I Hit My Deadline!

That was a much longer break than I originally planned it to be! 

First - I am well! More on that later.

Second - I made the Deadline on the Butterfly quilt! Well, as long as UPS gets it there today, Monday, November 2nd -  via next day service, that is. Fingers crossed. 

Third - I did take pictures of the Butterfly process and will be sharing them out over the next few days.  

Just what has been going on you ask?  I can finally tell you that I've just completed my sixth (and last) chemotherapy session on October 8th - the day after my last post.  Since then, I've been battling the side effects, work has been busy and I was bound & determined to get the Butterfly quilt made.  So that's why there haven't been any posts until today.  There is just so much I could and can still do while the fatigue wears me out.  

Yes, chemo was tough - I am tougher!  But I was blessed with an amazing surgeon and nursing staff.  My DH is the most wonderful man on this Earth!  I had incredible support from friends, family and co-workers, along with a very understanding boss.  My blood levels are starting to recover, the pain is manageable.  The neuropathy in the hands and feet is a total drag - but it will get better in time. It has to because I need them to sew! 

It's time to get back to the studio and sew something.  I'm joining in on the Bonnie Hunter mystery again this year on Black Friday. But that's 25 days away so I have plenty of time to start something new and get it done before then.

In the meantime, while I am planning that new project, I'll share the Butterfly quilt progression. I hope you enjoy it. It's good to be back!