Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 In Review

I wanted to collect all my quilts for this year in one place, so I can see what I'm up against next year for UFOs.  I divided them into categories, based on progress and destination.

Quilts finished this year, pieced and quilted.  There are 3 mystery quilts in there, 2 shop samples, a quilt for my son, and 3 projects from the April quilt retreat, among others.

Charity quilts:

Previous UFO tops quilted this year:

Tops finished this year, but not quilted:

Tops quilted this year, but not bound:

There's a lot more there than I expected. I had been thinking it was a slow year and very little got done.  But I count 26 quilts (finished ones plus tops) - I can hardly believe I did that many.  However, only 4 tops out of my "to be quilted pile" got done. And I added 11 more. Net increase of 7 quilts on the pile this year.  I really do need to tackle that this coming year.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Another (almost) finish!

Not quite a finish for the year, but I did get another quilt off the longarm today.  Last one for 2014, and I should be able to get to the binding over the next week, so it can be #1 for 2015

I did some custom quilting on this one - I want to try to expand my custom skills and design ideas this year, rather than sticking with my fallback pantographs. So that's my goal with my own quilts in 2015.  I'm sure some will still be pantographs, but hopefully I can expand my horizons with a few of them.  After all, there are 18 (or more) to quilt :)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Design Wall Monday

I have a couple of things in progress this week. Frist, Bonnie's Grand Illusion Mystery.

Bonnie was kind to us this week. After the weeks of 260 broken dish blocks, and 100 slanted diamonds, she gave us a step with 29 blocks this week.  29 4-patches, in fact.  I can do this!!

In fact, I even managed to finsh clue #2 (although I didn't take a picture of it). Thanks in large part of Swooze who pointed me to a blog that described strip piecing those particular units.

I am now all caught up with Bonnie, and ready for the next step.

And this is back up on my design wall.  Judy's Tell it to the Stars mystery.  I just have the borders to do - November and December's clues.  So I'm working that this week.  Lots of little half-square triangles and flying geese.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone is up to for the final Design Wall Monday of 2014. And don't forget to drop by the Grand Illusions Monday linkup

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Stash Report - Dec 28

My final stash report for 2014.  Pushing through, I had a few finishes this week.  I showed them here.
My Kaffe Fassett top is done.  That's a nice chunk out of my stash this week. I'll have to pick a backing for it, but I have a few other quilts in the queue ahead of this one, I think.

2 bindings - 1 yards
1 quilt - 6 yards
1 backing - 3 1/2 yards

Total out this week - 10 1/2 yards

Stash totals for the year:
485 1/4 yards in
196 3/4 yards out
Total: 288 1/2 yards in

NO. I just can't do it. 3 1/4 yards short of my 200 yard goal! I have to make one more backing before the day is up.  That'll fix it :)

Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else did in their stash busting efforts this year.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Mystery Overload

Willpower? What willpower?

It's almost New Year's, which seems to be a traditional time for mysteries to take place.  I don't need another project. I just itemized all my projects already on the go for 2015, and swore off new projects.  And I remembered that I found a New Year's mystery last year, so I did some googling to see who was hosting one this year.  And now I appear to have jumped in with both feet. But I can't resist a challenge, and trust me, this is going to be a challenge.

Here's what's up for New Year's this year:

1. Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusions Mystery - already in progress, but booting right along at 1 clue a week, so should finish early January
2. a New Year's Eve mystery, from QTMysteryQuilts, a yahoo group. (starts 3am, Dec 31)
3. a New Year's Day mystery, from Merry Mayhem (10am Jan 1)
4. a New Year's Day mystery, from (7am Jan 1)

The good news is that 3 of these are 1-day mysteries. So I should be able to avoid stretching them out for the whole year.  AND, the most important part, every scrap of fabric for all 4 of these quilts is coming out of my stash!

2. QT Mystery Quilts - Black & White with a splash of (scrappy) red

4. - green quilt (3 greens) with gold accent

3. Merry Mayhem - scrappy darks & brights
(there's more orange/yellow than shown here).

1. Bonnie Hunter - Grand Illusions.  Scrappy green, aqua, pink with yellow, black and white.  A jumbled mess because cutting has commenced.

Final finishes for 2014

Wrapping up my accounting for the year, I have a couple of finishes to report. The bindings went on both of these quilts earlier this week.  The push was that I registered them both for the UFO challenge at the Ottawa Modern Quilt guild - and I just couldn't bring myself to show up without them done. The large quilt was bound on Sunday, and the small one on Monday after work. Just in time for the Monday night meeting.  It was worth the effort to get them done - both of my tickets in the UFO challenge draw paid off!  I brought home an Alison Glass charm pack, and a second one that will hopefully work with it.

This quilt is the Back to Square One medallion mystery from Judy and Vicki in 2013. Finally quilted this fall, and now bound and ready for use.

The second one is a modern wallhanging.  The blocks are appliqued onto a single piece of background fabric.  Yes, I said applique. Hand applique even.  There just wasn't any other option to get the look I wanted, so I set aside my dislike of applique for a few moments.  I'm very happy with how I managed to get the binding to match the background.

I also finished my Kaffe Fassett quilt top. 

And there will (I hope) be at least one final long arm quilting project done before the year is up. But that had to go on hold for a few days, while my son was visiting, and using my longarm studio as a bedroom.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Day Stitching

Merry Christmas, everyone!

While my kids are catching up with their friends in the online gaming world on Christmas Day, I've been spending quality time with my sewing machine :)  Catching up on Bonnie's "Grand Illusions" mystery is on the schedule for today. Clues 1,3, and 4 are now complete. Yes, there is a noticeable gap in there. Clue 2 is scary :)  But I might get started on it after dinner.  That would get me all caught up before clue 5 comes out tomorrow morning.

I'm very curious to find out how the green rectangles - finish at 3x6 - are going to work with the broken dish units - finish at 4x4 - in the final project.

Adding this post to Bonnie's Monday linkup - I think I still have a couple of hours to catch this week's deadline.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Holiday Projects

Bonnie Hunter is hosting a Very Merry Linky Party over on her blog this week.  So I thought I'd share what I'm going to be up to during this holiday break.

First, I still have my current project on my design wall.  It kind of stalled the last couple of days, as I try desperately to catch up on Bonnie's mystery quilt.  (step 1 done, 3 to go).  But I hope to finish this top over the holiday break.

And my gift to myself this year - my own quilt on the long arm.  I am determined to get at least 2 of my own, hopefully more, done before I load another customer quilt on the machine.  No commitments until early January on those, so I should have some time to do at least a couple of my own over the break.  This is my Metro Lattice quilt - doing some custom quilting this time around.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Design Wall Monday - Dec 22

The blocks I had on my design wall last week are now starting to look like a quilt.This could end up being my last top finished for 2014, if I get as much sewing time as I hope to this week.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else is up to today.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Stash Report, Dec 21

I picked up 1/4 yard of fabric this week, to make the final blocks on my current quilt.  Nothing I can claim out, since nothing got finished this week. But I'm working on that.  High hopes for this week :)

Stash totals for the year:
485 1/4 yards in
186 1/4 yards out
Total: 299 yards in

Or maybe I should just aim for an even 300 yards in this year and call it good :)

Drop by Judy's blog for more stash reports today.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

2015 Goals

It's always good to have goals. Even if we fall short of them.  For 2015, I have some plans, some hopes, and some dreams :)

At last count, I had 18 tops that need to be quilted. I think the number has gone up by at least 2 since then, but let's call it 18 for now.  I hope to quilt 6 of them next year (1 every 2 months - that should be achievable, right?)  Plus, not add to them. So, for every quilt I finish, one will get quilted (not necessarily the one I just finished, but something on the list).

I'm going to continue to track my stash in/out - but next year I am determined to only bring in fabric that has an immediate use.  So my out should be much higher than my in count, I hope.  I have Judy as a shining example of what's possible here.

I am involved in a number of block of the month/mystery quilts
  1. Guild mystery
  2. Bonnie Hunter mystery
  3. Border Creek Station mystery
  4. Reflections of the North block of the month
  5. Mastering Miniatures block of the week
  6. A Patchwork Year block of the month 
  7. Tell it to the Stars mystery
Plus Downtown block of the month. Actually, let's be honest and call this one a true UFO. The BOM finished a few months ago, and I have 4 months to go.

I hereby resolve to sign up for LESS next year.  Or maybe I mean the year after.  Several of the projects above (3,4,6) will run all year.  #2 should finish around New Years.  #7 should be done now so I just need to catch up on the last 2 clues, #1 ends in May, and #5 has 10 more weeks to run. That will leave me with 3 BOM projects for the last part of the year.  It's so hard to resist a new mystery. Let's see if I can stay strong :)

Monday, 15 December 2014

Design Wall Monday - Dec 15

Only 2 more design wall Mondays this year!  Hard to believe it's almost done.

This week I've been plugging away at my new quilt, in between customer projects. I have all the full blocks made (2 missing in this picture) that I had cut from my initial set of strips.  I'm 8 blocks short of the pattern size, and I do have that fabric set aside already. But I'm working on the half-blocks now, and will decide for sure on the final size after they are done.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else has on their design wall this week.