Saturday, 31 January 2015

350 blocks - January

It's time to see how everyone did in the 350 block challenge. We were supposed to make 20 blocks this month (and 30 each month following, I guess).  I got lucky, since my New Year's mystery quilts fell into January for the most part.

I made 28 blocks for Merry Mayhem's New Year's Day mystery. That's a bit of a guess, since the "blocks" were odd sizes and assembled into rows. I also didn't count the pieced borders as bocks for this one.

20 blocks for the New Year's Day mystery

12 blocks for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion. Again, I didn't count the border blocks for this one. The pieces for the borders were all assembled in December, so they don't really count anyway.

I actually made 6 block of the week blocks, although only 3 are pictured here. The rest got done and then immediately laid out with the whole quilt, before I remembered to take a picture.

And I've rejoined the Block Lotto this year, after a 2 year hiatus.  I loved the look of this block, so I made 8 of them.

That's a total of 74 blocks this month

For a grand total of 74 blocks so far this year.  I'm ahead!  But I'd better not get overconfident :)  30 blocks a month is going to be a challenge, with my other resolutions to finish some UFOs and not start any projects I don't already have fabric for.

Friday, 30 January 2015


Yes, twenty-two! That is how many finished quilt tops I have which need to be quilted.  I knew I had been piling them up, but I had tried to convince myself I counted wrong.  Apparently I did - I was under by two.

The full list of quilts is documented here. I'm making it my goal this year to quilt one of these a month. That will get me through about half of them by the end of the year.  Now if I can just stop adding to the pile, I'll make some sort of dent in the list.  Anyone taking bets?  :)

First thing I did was register 5 of these quilts with my guild's UFO challenge - one a month to finish before June. That's my incentive to finish those. I have a reputation to uphold after all :)

First up  - Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion.  I haven't picked the quilting pattern yet, but it will be some sort of pantograph. The quilt is busy enough that detailed quilting isn't going to show, so something simple will fit the bill.

First, I have 2 customer quilts to finish on deadline for February. But I'm next!  And I plan to stick to that and get this one onto the longarm before the middle of Feb.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Next project

Now that I finished all the tops from my New Year's mystery bonanza, I've started on my next project. This was (is) a block of the week project from my local quilt store.  49 blocks made over 49 weeks, starting last February.  We just finished the last block, and I made the alternate blocks back in November, so I'm all set to put this together now.

I think this is the arrangement I'm going to go with. But if you see anything that jumps out as out of place, let me know. I still have time to change it up.  I am considering a rectangular arrangement (6x8) rather than the 7x7 I have here. I think that might make a better fit for a double bed. This quilt is going to finish at about 80x80, I think.  The rectangular one would be 70x88". If I do that, the really dark block in the center will get taken out.

I can't wait to get to the borders on this quilt - I love the fabric I picked and I hope it looks as good as I thought it would.

I'm linking up at The Needle and Thread Network and Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday this week.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've been busily plugging away at my New Year's mysteries, and I have now officially finished the last top!  This mystery was from I'm not sure if the border was part of the design, but I felt the quilt needed something so I added it.  I still regret messing up the location of the light and medium greens. But not enough to redo the quilt :)

I've also made 3 of my block of the week blocks. I got a bit behind over Christmas, but just 3 more weeks to go and I'm not only caught up, I'm done. Then I get to start assembling this one.  All the alternate blocks are made already, so it should go together pretty quickly.

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else has on their design walls today

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Grand Illusion

My Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion quilt top is done!  I figured out how to make the border fit my smaller top, without having to add a 4" border between the quilt center and the pieced border. It changes the corner design a little bit, but I'm very happy with the end result.

I noticed after I put it up on the wall that I rotated the center blocks in different directions.  But I'm going to call that a design choice since Bonnie did it intentionally :)

As I was folding this one to add to the pile of "quilt me!" tops, I noticed a large piece of fabric I bought a year or so ago. I was planning to make a One Block Wonder from this, but I think that will probably never happen, and the colours, while not perfect (no turquoise) work pretty well with this quilt top. So that fabric has now been repurposed into a backing for Grand Illusion.

I also finished Merry Mayhem's Regatta quilt top, from the New Year's Day mystery. That just leaves one more New Year's mystery to finish up.  It's been a good week for finishes for me, which translates into a good stash report :)

Fabric out this week:
Grand Illusions - 7 1/2 yards
Merry Mayhem - 6 yards

Fabric in this week:

Stash totals for the year:
68.5 yards in
35 yards out
Total: 33.5 yards in

Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing this week.

Updated Jan 31.
Drop by Bonnie's mystery linkup to see all the other gorgeous Grand Illusion quilts.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

350 Blocks

This sounds like fun.  Praire Moon quilts is hosting a 350 block challenge, and I think I'm going to join in.  The challenge is to make 350 blocks this year. I don't think that's going to be very hard to meet, but I'm really curious to know just how many blocks I make in a year, so here goes nothing.

I'm going to start off by counting back all my blocks up to today, since Jan 1.  I won't include my New Year's Eve mystery quilt, even though most of the blocks were actually completed after Jan 1. But I am including Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion, because the blocks were definitely all completed after that date.

28 blocks for Merry Mayhem's New Year's Day mystery
20 blocks for the New Year's Day mystery
12 blocks for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion

60 blocks so far this year.   I think that's a pretty good start :)  The offical reporting date is the end of the month, so I'll keep this number and see what I add to it before then.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Stash Report - Jan 18

I had hope to finish the border on a couple of quilts this week, but other priorities intruded and they didn't get done. I did manage to get the binding on 2 quilts, however.  Just need to finish stitching them down and I can count those as finishes. But in the mean time, the fabric is officially used, so it goes into the used column.  Unfortunately, I actually had to buy the binding for one of them, so a little bit also came in.

Out this week:
1 yard - binding

In this week:
1/2 yard  - binding

Stash totals for the year:
68.5 yards in
21.5 yards out
Total: 47 yards in

Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing this week.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Design Wall Monday

I'm almost done one of my New Year's Day mysteries.  This quilt just needs one more border and then it's done.  A slightly smaller size than the last two I finished, so I think this one will probably go to Victoria's Quilts once I finish it.  The Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion is almost joined into rows now, so lots of progress was made this week.

But for now, this week has to be focused on finishing up some customer quilts, so I'll have to put my piecing projects away for a bit. 

Drop by Judy's blog to see what everyone else has been up to.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Stash Report Jan 11

One final stop at the LQS anniversary sale, picked up another 29.5 yards.

But I finished a quilt top this week!!  In fact, I finished two. I feel like I've been attaching borders all week, but it does feel great to be done :)  Unfortunately my usual photo location currently has a pile of flooring stacked in it, so I've had to improvise. I think the bordesr on Tell it to the Stars would show up better against the dark floor.

I added the final white border to the New Year's Eve mystery quilt.  I'm loving this one, but I really don't need another 80x80" quilt in my house. So it may end up being a donation to Quilts of Valour (the colours are even right for that :) ). We'll see what the situation is when I finally get around to quilting this one.

Judy's mystery quilt took 13 yards.
The New Year's Eve mystery quilt used 7.5 yards of fabric.

Stash totals for the year:
68 yards in
20.5 yards out
Total: 47.5 yards in

Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else is starting their year.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Work in Progress - Jan 7

One of my goals this year is to participate in the Work in Progress linkups on Wednesdays.  Hopefully that will help me stay motivated to actually have something in progress each week :)

This has been a busy week, after all my crazy New Year's mysteries.  Still working on most of those.  I have the blocks finished for one of them. Just need to put them together and decide if I want a border or not.  Unfortunately, looking at them now, and at the pictures of completed quilts, I fear I may have gotten my colours mixed up.  I think the lightest green was supposed to be the narrow strip in the middle.  Rats!

I have one more border to add to this quilt.

The blocks are being assembled for Bonnie Hunter's "Grand Illusion" quilt.  I have pieces for another 6 blocks aside from what's shown here.

And last but not least, I have all the rows assembled for Merry Mayhem's Regatta mystery.  Just need to assemble the top. This one had better finish before Sunday, since my son expects to be able to sleep in here that night :)

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network today. Drop by to see what everyone else has been up to.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Mystery Progress

I finished one of my New Year's mysteries today.  I really like how this top came together. Scrappy reds & whites, with one common black. The pattern is lovely - and I'm glad I didn't bail on the project when I read the cutting directions.  All those little tiny 1" squares were separately cut - but I held off and managed to strip piece the 9-patch and 4-patch blocks, which greatly simplified the process, and reduced the cutting immensely.

I haven't decided if it needs a narrow white border to finish it off. The design ends here, but I'm worried that the small squares on the outside round will be partially eaten up by the binding (I usually attach binding with about 3/8 seam rather than 1/4).  I do have enough of a couple of the whites to do a solid 3" border in a single fabric.

And that finish meant that my design wall was finally free to play with Bonnie's Grand Illusion reveal.  I put up a few of the pieces I made, just to take a look at it.  I'm pretty happy with how my colours are all playing together. And the non-scrappy white, black, and yellow I think help the design show through.  I was a bit worried about my aqua, because I ran out of scrappiness after making the original pieces.  But cutting all the cornerstones out of a single aqua really works I think.  (yes, two of the pieces are turned wrong. I've fixed that)

I tried a couple of other options, that a few other quilters have decided to use. But neither of them has the same impact as the original design in my eyes.  Of course - Bonnie knows what she's doing :)
option 1
I made about 1/2 the blocks, so after adding a few additional broken dishes units I have enough for 12 squares.  I haven't checked check the green sashing or the border blocks yet, but I think I like this size, so I'll just make whatever extras I need when I get to those sections.

Drop by Quiltville to see more Grand Illusions.

option 2

Monday, 5 January 2015

Border Decisions

I need to pick a border for Judy's mystery quilt, so I can get this one completed. It's not on my design wall, because that still has the mystery quilt on it.

For this quilt, there is just one more border to do, and I can have my first finish of the year.  These are the options I have. The first one is the plan - what the pattern calls for.  The second is the medium purple that's used in the stars, and the final picture is the dark purple from the stars and sashing.

Opinions? I'm leaning towards the first, even though it was intially my least favourite option. The purples are just feeling too harsh when they suddenly jump into the border.

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

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Stash Report - Jan 4

My first stash report of the year, and things are not looking good :)  The LQS had their annual anniversary sale, and despite my best intentions, I stopped by to do some shopping.   All the fabric is for backings, for quilts currently in progress. So that's good news, right?  I should have that fabric heading out in no time at all.

38.5 yards in

I did forget about 2 quilts, so I may have to drop by again and see if there is anything left that will suffice for Bonnie's and Judy's mysteries.

Drop by Judy's blog to see how everyone else is starting their year.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Order from Chaos

Well, some order, anyway.  Here is the state of some of the projects I've been working on over the New Year. 

This is the mystery from QTMysteryQuilts yahoo group.  The sashing strips are cut and ready to attach. I have to check my theory on the sashing to determine if there are corner stones or not.  I have 16 1.5" black squares left I think, so I suspect that's what they are used for.  I'm really happy with how this quilt came out. I almost bailed on it, when the pre-cutting instructions said to cut over 400 1.5" squares.  But I held off and managed to strip piece the first couple of steps instead of fiddling with little tiny pieces.  With that adjustment, things were much easier/quicker, and I'm glad I did this mystery.

Next, Merry Mayhem's mystery "Regatta". I think I'm seeing the connection to the title now, and I understand why she recommended light blue for the background. I didn't have any, so went ahead with beige. I have a light blue that I might use for the backing, however.  I still have borders to attach to this one, and the rows to assemble. (and I wish the photo was rotated the right way up).

And finally, Judy's ( Tell it to the Stars mystery.  One more border to add, but I haven't decided which colour to use yet. The one she recommends is my least favourite colour in this quilt (only picked because I had enough fabric - and now I see why it needed the quantity she called for).  The outer border is supposed to be the dark beige-y colour in the pieced border. But I'm considering using one of the purples instead.  I might have picked the yellow, but I don't have enough of that left.

No pictures of the mystery yet.  I'm still assembling blocks on that one. And Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion is waiting for design wall space once I get the red/black/white quilt off it.

Thursday, 1 January 2015


As if I didn't have enough of a disaster going on in my sewing room, today I have the bits and pieces of 4 different quilts scattered around, in various stages of construction.

On my sewing table, I have some of the triangles for Merry Mayhem's New Year's Day mystery.  And some sashing pieces for the New Year's Eve mystery that I didn't finish yesterday.

On the ironing board, some of the strip sets for the mystery I'm working on.

At the other end of the board, more of Merry Mayhem and the New Year's Eve mystery.

And here, crumpled up on the floor, is Tell it to the Stars - Judy's 2014 mystery, which just needs the final 2 borders attached.  It's taken a back seat to the various 1-day projects.

And if you look at the background, those photos have now given you more of glimpse into the chaos which is my sewing room.  Maybe cleaning it should be my New Year's Resolution this year :)