Friday, December 23, 2011

Two months???!!!

Whoa!  Have I lost touch or what?  Cannot believe my last post was almost two months ago!?  Can't be, but it most certainly is!

I was not the winner in the McCall's Quilt Designer contest.  Melanie Wilson of Utah won.  You can check it out here. http://www.mccallsquilting.com/contests/design-star.html
Entering this contest really was most enjoyable for me... something I never ever thought I would do.  Would I do it again?  I'm not sure but I "think" so.  The pressure of trying to turn out a design from scratch and on demand while working a full-time AND a part-time job was a little trying and wouldn't want to do that all the time I tell you!  For some reason I was able to do it this time and things ... well they fell into place like it was meant to be!  Amazing, right?   That's what I thought each time I moved on in the challenge and came up with something - Amazing!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who voted.  With out you this would never have been possible.  Thank you, Thank you!  Be sure to thank your friends too!!  I was totally overwhelmed at the participation and the people I got to meet throughout the challenge.  AMAZING!!

As I write this, I am still waiting for my second place challenge prize to arrive, which I presume got held up at the border as it should have been sometime in October, and now waiting for the third challenge prize to arrive along with my last entry.  When Blue Suede comes home it will really be over.  You know, I really do miss trying to fit that into my busy work schedule; seems kinda lost at times.  With that being said I guess that means I will do it again... but maybe not this year!

There is one day to Christmas, my very favorite time of the year, (well other than my birthday!!) and I am ready!  Just a couple of pies to make and I think I will get at those when I am done here.  I am off from work for two weeks and I so plan to make up for time I don't get to sew anymore.  I want to bust another 20 UFO's this year.  Due to working full-time I have had to reduce the number I want to complete, but think I can manage 20.... I think!  But this time I will have the whole year and not six months like last year!  And I plan to make a couple of Christmas quilts for "me" as well!!

So on that note I would like to wish each and everyone of you,

A very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Forever with needle in hand,

Choux

Monday, October 31, 2011

One more week!

There is only one more week of voting left!  Where has the time gone??  I mean 6 months ago I had entered Spirit of Hope for the first round of voting.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have made that first round.  Now, here I am in the final challenge and I still cannot believe I am even partaking in something this big!  The prize package is totally out of this world!!  Check it out for yourself...scroll down the page to   McCall's Quilting Contest

Blue Suede by Shirley Jobson
The last Canadian in the challenge and I'm having the time of my life!  How else can you top that?  Winning the second round (See .. I won!!) was a huge win against the caliber of designers I was up against, and again NEVER would I have ever dreamed of winning it!  Honestly... I even said to my hubby (my Martha) that I knew I wouldn't be voted in to stay in the final challenge and I was okay with that.  Boy was I wrong - I won it!

I have never been an Elvis fan, but did you know that the song Blue Suede Shoes was actually written by Carl Perkins and notably covered by Elvis Presley?   You really have to read up on this song... it really is quite amazing actually.  Blue Suede Shoes

Is it all a dream?  Yes, this really feels like a dream and one I don't want to wake up from - I'm having too much fun!! LOL  But either way, next Tuesday is the last day of voting. If this gets your feet taping, singing the song or just makes you happy... please vote for it... Vote for me if Blue Suede makes you happy!
I'm happy to say that I have made some really great friends during this challenge and I do wish everyone of the contestants all the very best come next Tuesday!


Elvis Presley Blue Suede Shoes Lyrics

(Words and music by Carl Perkins)
Well, it's one for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, cat, go.

But don't you step on my blue suede shoes.

You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes.

Well, you can knock me down,

Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes
Don't you step on my blue suede shoes.
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes.

You can burn my house,

Steal my car,
Drink my liquor
From an old fruitjar.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,

Honey, lay off of my shoes
Don't you step on my blue suede shoes.
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes.

Well, it's one for the money,

Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, cat, go.

But don't you step on my blue suede shoes.

You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes.


Keeping you in stitches and thanks for voting,
Choux

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You can do anything, but lay off my ... HEH..be sure to vote!

It's time for Challenge 3 voting, the final round of McCalls Quilt Design Star!

I've said it many times, I know, but I cannot believe all this and that I'm even partaking in the final round!!  Thank you to all who have voted in the past and to those who voted me into first place in the second challenge.  I do hope you think this last creation is worthy of your votes again. 

As soon as I read what our challenge involved...this song came to mind!  And wouldn't you know it?  It's a song I don't care for ... at all!!  So here we go with a double challenge again - inspiration from lyrics to a well known song and working with a song I don't really like!  Oh boy!

But before I made it home from work (something told me to check my emails before I left work) I already had the start of the challenge in my brain.  I hurried into the house and I put the ideas down on paper.  Then someone said something about working on a project from the "outside in".  Start working from the borders then design towards the middle?  Hmmm  interesting concept.  Yes, I decided to add that to the challenge.  And I have loads of fun with it!  Whatever I do has to be easy, simple and fun!

Can you believe that this all fell into place as each part/section was thought of?  It just flowed so easy, which surprised me with working on a song I don't really like!  One thing I did know was that there had to be shoes in the middle  - some how.   I also knew I would use the pinwheel block as it is a "basic" block and something beginners would know how to do.  See, when I work on something like this (sometimes I design something just for fun and it never goes anywhere), I make it so that a beginner quilter would be able to do it, but an advance quilter would enjoy making it and add their own touches to it to make it their own.  So many of my creations end up very simple.  My KISS method is - Keep It Sewn Simply!  ;-)

Don't step on my Blue Suede Shoes!

Piano keys and records!

Blue Suede

There are many techniques used in this piece. And I was having so much fun thinking this all out and putting it together.  While I was sewing this piece up the fun was dwindling slowly as I was fretting on how I was going to quilt this piece and so much so that I wasn't having fun anymore.

I was so afraid that I would mess this piece up with the quilting, but there was only me so I had to work myself up to completing it.   Then came time to quilt ....oh no!!!  What am I going to do?  So I started stitching in the ditch, trying ever so hard to be "perfect".  As I worked on this, ideas on what next to quilt started to form.  Try this... rip it out; try this... rip it out....finally after ripping something out the third time at trying to get it perfect I had a light bulb moment!!  I don't have a big fancy machine to quilt with, and I am definitely "not" perfect, so why am I trying so hard to be perfect now?  Once I gave myself the permission to "fail" I then started to have fun!  The machine quilting was then done as I know how on my domestic sewing machine and I even hand quilted all the notes so that they looked how I wanted them to.  Oh my gosh the fun had returned!! YES!!  This is how it is supposed to feel when you do something you love!

Thank you to all, family, friends and those I have never met, who have voted for me to get me  into the third and final Challenge of McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011.  Thank you to all who will vote for me in this round as well.  Huge thank you's to The Quilting Barn and staff for supplying me with everything I needed to make this beautiful piece and for all their encouragement! And last but not least, thank you Martha aka Chester!!  Thank you my dear hubby for being my biggest supporter during all the challenges, you are a keeper! ♥

It has been such a ride, one I will not forget for a very long, long time and I have all off you voters to thank for that, as well as McCall's Quilting and all the sponsors..... THANK YOU!


So head to McCall's Quilting and check out all the great entries and don't forget to vote, even if it isn't for me!
Please vote!!

Forever in stitches,
Shirley in Canada!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Butterflies and Pillows

OH my goodness! What a ride I have been on the past 3 weeks!  Actually since April!!

I don't show excitement ... but boy if you could be in my body you would know just how excited I have been!!  I have butterflies having pillow fights in my stomach and my mind, small as it is, is racing a mile a second!!  I still cannot believe that it is me living this dream ...yes to me it is still a dream!   Soon the dream will end and I will awake with such wonderful memories ☺

Camp - from the shore line

I was at sewing camp a week ago and oh how I relaxed!  But the best part....was Saturday nite.  Where everyone (approx 50 people) wished me the best of luck with my "dream".  And I even got some sewing done too!
Of course I took way too many things to work on but you never know when the sewing fairies will come along to help you out so you best be ready! LOL

Peaceful... isn't it?
I have had this cut for some time and decided that I would get it sewn together this camp, and that was that!
It will be a tablecloth when I'm done quilting it, so here it is draped on my table.  What do you think?   Good choice?

Cannot concentrate very well tonite so I will sign off and be back in a week or so.... the butterflies are pillow fighting again! ;-)

Wishing you all perfect stitches,

Choux


Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's true!! Really it is!

Oh my gosh!   I was the winner of the 2nd Challenge round for McCall's Quilting Design Star 2011.   Me?

YES.... ME!!  
Totally unbelievable... but oh so wonderful and fun!  I stayed up until 2:30 this morning tweeking a design that popped into my head before I read all of the requirements for Challenge #3!  And I'm going with it.  Rule of thumb, always go with you first instinct so I am.

Don't believe me.... see for yourself!!  Check out Sept 9th's post here.....


I'm still walking on air on Cloud 9, soon to be passing by 10, 11 and 12!!

Happy Sewing everyone!!!
hugs,
Choux




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pinch me... am I dreaming???

The excitement of the last 4 1/2 months has been quite overwhelming to say the least!  New job, still working old job, taking on duties as president of the Quilt Guild I belong to and then being a participant in the McCall's Quilt Design Star contest!!  Who would have ever thought that I (me....ME!) would ever enter something like this and be in the second round of voting!  Certainly not I! 
My entry for the second round is called "Breaking Free".  It had to take a slight turn with the design when I got clarification on what the "surface" actually means.  Everything was cut to go "my" way of thinking before I got the clarification.  I had actually had 1/4 of the braid strip sewn!   To me surface was the "inside" of the piece - not including the borders.  I mean if you put a "quilt" on the bed the borders are not on the surface, right?  Uh-uh .... it includes the borders.  I was so distraught that I really considered dropping out as I had no idea how I was going to continue.  Luckily I have a brain that doesn't shut down!  By the time I went to bed I had something already forming.... will it work?   This was at the end of week one, a Sunday and of course the next day is work.
Well, come Monday's drive to work and the drive back home, I came up with "something" that might allow me to continue with the braid, so tired as I was I had to go down and cut parts from the braid to see what it would look like.  YES!  It will work... but how do I incorporate the butterflies.  You see, before the last challenge was even done, I issued a challenge to myself!  Should I make the next round, no matter what our criteria is, I was to make sure it had butterflies!!   Now isn't that nutz?   I mean the challenge is enough to drive one to drink (and I don't drink!!) when you have to design something with certain rules attached, and really I am "NOT" a designer, let alone add another challenge to the challenge.  Hmmmm maybe I should have called it "Double Challenged"??  LOL

Here is what I came up with:


Now if you really like it you can help me win this next round too!  Click the link here, to vote!
http://ck.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?p=V&c=28078&s=10220884&i=3

Did anyone pinch me yet, so I know I'm really not dreaming!!

Hugs all and happy sewing!!
Choux

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Work is a "four" letter word...right??

The month of July and the first two weeks of August have flown right past me.... literally!!  "Work" that other nasty "four" letter word has taken over my lifestyle and for the next little while will "not" be letting go.  But I am enjoying my new job - don't tell anybody I said that!!!  It is very challenging and most demanding but so far I am holding my own, I think! LOL

Sewing/quilting has gone by the wayside for the next couple of months, while I train someone to take over my previous job, so that means my nights are not my own for the time being.  
BUT - (don't you just love that "three" letter word - it can hold so much weight!)  I have finished and upload my second challenge to McCall's Quilt Design Star http://www.mccallsquilting.com where the new voting takes place starting tomorrow (Aug 17th).   Now it's nothing to really "woo-hoo", but it is "me".   So don't forget to wonder over to the site..... I will post a direct link here when I get it, as I do find it a little hard to "find" it on the site if you are not very computer savvy ... not saying that I am though!! LOL

Enjoy your sewing time friends... and enjoy each other. 

Choux

(who happens to be the last Canadian standing!!)







Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I made it!!!

Can you believe it?  I have made it to the 2nd Challenge round of the McCall's Quilt Design Star  Contest!!! Woot! Woot!

I do not show excitement most times, but I sure can type it!  LOL   I already have something put to paper but will I use it?  That is the number one question right now.

Thank you everyone who voted for me, but I'm going to need a lot more help the next round as the cut is going to be a big one I think.  I have no idea where I was in the standing so that makes if even scarier!!

So keep an eye on Aug 17th for the next round of voting!  It should be very nteresting with the challenge we have been given.  Read about it all here....McCall's Quilt Design Star 2011

I still cannot believe I'm in!!!



Enjoy!!
Choux
(who is now off to design again!!)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where has the time gone??

Oh my.... OH MY!!!  Can you believe it has been almost 2 1/2 months since my last post??  I can't!
  So much has happened since then, that I thought I best fill you in.


The Spirit of Hope was a very well received piece of work by all who bought tickets.  It raised almost $1700 and the winner was a lady from my little town who happens to be a cancer survivor too!  How fitting a quilt for her to receive; I was just so happy for her and she sent me a lovely thank you note stating she hasn't had anything so nicely made before.  (big grin here!!)
I thank each and every one of you who bought tickets for The Spirit of Hope.

My sister made this cake for the event and was very much liked by all.  It was 24" x 24".     I had given her a picture of the Spirit of Hope  which she had laminated, as she was unable to get an edible transfer.  What an ingenious idea!!  Didn't she do a great job??

I then went to Toronto for a weekend with a good friend to the Creativ Festival  in April (http://www.csnf.com/) to do a little "looking" for something new in the fabric/quilting world.  Didn't do "too" much damage though LOL

The day before I left, I put in an application for a full-time office position just on a whim and decided this would be the last position I would try for and would just stay working part-time.  Never thought I would get an interview but low and behold that next Monday I was called for an interview AND got the position.  Now you know why you haven't heard from me for so long!!  I started April 27th and haven't had time to sew at all let alone even think of writing on the blog!

Okay, so that is not absolutely true.  I did go to Camp Wanna Sew for 5 days mid May and it felt so good too!  Then I didn't sew again until June 18th!!  That weekend I had a 20 hour sewing marathon going on to get something finished.  You see ... sometime around when I went to Toronto I entered The Spirit of Hope in the McCall's Quilt Design Star Contest and didn't I get the okay to participate along with 93 other entries!  WOW  ... amazing, right?   Then it went to a vote (you as viewers voted... a very huge thank you to all!) and it was narrowed down to 20 people.  I WAS ONE OF THE 20!!!   Now that is just something totally off the wall for me!!  I was waiting anxiously to see who was picked and how many; I was totally shocked that I made it...but it was because of all those people voting for me!!   Then we had until June 23rd to upload our new design made with the requirements given by McCall's.  How totally kewl is that?   This is what I came up with.... I had it pretty well all figured out on the second day after we were given our instructions, but I had absolutely no time at all to work on it until the weekend before it was due.  And the five days before it was due was a no go for for sewing either so that left the 18th & 19th to sew up this design.
Now remember, this picture makes it look like a large quilt.... in actual fact it is only 48" x 48"!   Each one of the blocks is only 6".... yes... take a look at all the pieces in those blocks in the center!!

Just so you have  better perception of the size here are a couple of closeups. 
This block ... my favorite by the way, called "Arrowheads", has 53 pieces to it!  Go head.... count them!  And there are 12 of those blocks!
  
Yes, that is a quarter and a dime on there!  So you see how small some of the pieces were that I worked with.  I've always liked the look of 6" blocks and just knew I would be pressed for time, so I thought doing them that small would be quicker.  WRONG!!  I actually now think that making them 12" would have been so much faster... live and learn as they say.

This block was pretty quick to make up and only has 17 pieces to make it.  Actually I think my next thing to do will be to count ALL the pieces to see how many is "Too Many Pieces".  That is what I called this and only thought of the name just seconds before submitting it to McCall's on the 23rd of June.


The 20 contestants are now in the voting stage again and I so would love for you to vote for me, (http://ck.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?p=V&c=28078&s=9176324&i=2) but be sure to check out all the entries.  There are some really great pieces there!! 

More to come when I get my life back on a schedule again.  Until then - you all keep safe, be happy and sew something!!

Hugs all,
Choux
PS.... HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So, What's the Story behind this quilt?

The day of revealing "The Quilt" is now over for those following me on Facebook, and I made it but just barely though!  The quilt it now all bound and looks wonder, if I do say so!

You  maybe wondering if there is any meaning/story behind this quilt I have been working so hard on for the past two weeks, and actually there is a lot of meaning in it.  Some things came to me as I went along; somethings with a whole of meaning. 

You best go get a coffee/adult beverage - go head... I'll wait for you!

On June 3rd, our little town hosts a Relay for Life, where we walk for 12 hours (7pm - 7am) as a fund raiser for Cancer (see here for more info http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?fr_id=8672&pg=entry)

Did you know there were this many ribbons?
Why is this quilt so scrappy?  A saying in a quilters world is, "if life hands your scraps - make a quilt", but that is not the reason LOL   Many of you remember I was trying to bust my scraps (as well as working on UFO's) this year and decided I would start there.  At first I started cutting the colors that represented the different types of cancer. Did you know there were that many colors for cancer?  For the most part that was going well... but it wasn't what I had in mind. 



Fabrics for the young and old
Actually I still wasn't sure at this point.  So I started cutting other fabrics; all kinds of different fabrics, and as I was cutting them I started to think of what they would represent.  What they would represent?  Since when did I make quilts that actually have a meaning for being made?  Sheesh!  I just make quilts because I like the process or how they look, why am I stepping out of my comfort zone now??  So I kept, cutting, cutting and cutting some more.  So why did I add all the different fabrics?  Well, one, you know is for the ribbons, but there are two other reasons.  The different prints represent the people effected by cancer; the young and the old, as cancer has no preference who it attacks.  And two, there are so many pieces as it represents the number of people affected cancer... oh so many people!




Friendship block with star quilting
Then came time for the borders.  Oh, boy!  What am I going to do here?  Well, as I pieced all the little pieces I kept thinking of what to do and came up with this block.  The name of the block is called the "Friendship Block" and thought it very fitting for it to be the final round to wrap up all the strips representing people.  Everyone needs friendship, no matter who they are but more so when going through the trials that cancer can dish out to a person and/or the family  to handle.  The blue background represents the dawn of a new day.  "Everything looks better in the morning" as the saying goes.




Of course you haven't seen the center of the quilt yet!!  I'm coming to that.

7 stars for luck
As I had done this all in sections, there was some heavy thinking going on.  

Okay, no jokes from the peanut gallery!!  ;-)  

And of course the bout with vertigo really put a stop to it all, hence my so tight deadline to finish up this past week.  I did get it all figured out, as well as the quilting!  That was the real stopper in all this!  Again, I thought of stars.
 
One of these for each team entered
  Do you think I like stars?  I think everyone does!  I like to think that the stars are our loved ones looking down on us and keeping us safe.  So there are seven of these on the center of the quilt.  Seven being a number of good luck.  There are also going to be some hand stitched stars too!!  Those stars represent the number of teams that are registered for the 12 hour walk.  As of writing this there are .... 46!!!  That is totally amazing!   There are at least 10 to a team so that would be at least 460 people.  That is more than the population in our little town!!!  Truly AMAZING!




Radiant Star
Now there is one big star radiating down over the center of the quilt.  It represents faith from heaven above.  For those not religious, it represents the love of family and friends radiating over them.














A dove represents Hope
The very center is a dove representing the Spirit of Hope.  In it's mouth it carries a lavender colored ribbon.  Lavender is the color that represents all types of cancer.  Did you know that?   This is one part of the quilt that I knew straight from the get-go as to what it was going to be.  What I didn't know was how I was going to quilt it, but that came to me after a long day of sewing things up just as I got into bed.  Really...that is when it all came to being; I only hoped that I would remember it in the morning as I was way past tired to even write it down.  I just wanted some sleep.





Spirit of Hope
How could I come up with such a representation for this quilt?  It was actually very easy for me.  My best friend was diagnosed with cancer in June 2005.  So there is a lot of thought of my friend when this quilt was being made.  When I had finished quilting the center panel I laid it out and then tears came to my eyes.  I had actually captured what I wanted!!   As well, this quilt would not have been made possible without the help of my hubby.  He looked after getting the meals made and making sure I ate, answering the phone, laundry ... yes he was a huge help.  Even if he wouldn't help me with 12 hours of ripping out one section that I didn't like the quilting on!  All of my waking hours for almost one full week went into this quilt.  He is my "Martha" and I'm so very thankful for that.  Thank you and I love you, Ches!!

So now you have the story behind my quilt.  Thank you to my Facebook friends for following along with me and my MashUp crew for keeping me going when I was putting in those long days.


Oh, sorry!!! 

My best friend?  She is alive and well; had two more little ones since given her all clear and is as much of a joy to me today as the day she was born.
She is my daughter ... love you bunches, Laurie xx/oo


Laurie & me

May the Spirit of Hope touch your lives,
as it so graciously has touched mine.


For those wanting to make a pledge for this walk - search for Shirley Jobson, thank you!
http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?fr_id=8672&pg=pfind


Hugs to all,
Choux

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind.....

OH my, oh my!  Last blog had me deliberating on all those pieces.  Well I did veto the idea of 1128 pieces I tell you.  And super FAST too.  

I am just starting to get back to normal since my last post, as after the flu/chest cold I battled almost a week of vertigo!  Upon reading about vertigo, it says it could happen after the onset of a bad cold ... well dahhh!   I do believe I get this every single time I am going to "get" a head cold.  See, I get the symptoms of a cold... but the cold doesn't surface.  When that happens, Mr. V decides to pay me a visit.  But I kicked the little bugger to the curb, at least for now.  I know he will come back just like a bad case of ... well I don't know what, but he will be back.  Until then - I play catch-up!!

Part of center panel
How's the quilt coming along??   I wish I could say it was blowing in the wind gathering up the fresh spring air, but it isn't yet.  The fund raiser quilt is coming along "okay", but not without a couple glitches.  One was getting sick when I had given myself a deadline of completion, which I have missed by a few days.  And two, a panel gone wrong.   Well not really wrong, just not up to my standard for this quilt.  Just when did my standards get so high????

Time to Sandwich outside panels.
I decided I would quilt this large quilt in 3 panels then do the  borders.  No, I have not done a quilt the way I'm doing this one, something similar but definitely not the same.  So, I'm going along by the seat of my pants, as some would say.  Last Friday I got a panel all quilted (by machine - no time to hand-quilt this!!) and I "thought" it looked okay... until Saturday morning.  Nope - not liking it.  I used a machine embroidery that is used to quilt with and the first one looking oh so darn fine!  So I kept going ... until 11:30 that night.   Now each embroidery design has approx 2500 stitches and about 3 minutes to stitch out - not much really when you really understand how these designs work.  BUT!  What I thought was going to be a quick and really nice way to do this quilt turned out to be a very low "okay" for me.  IF it would have been a quilt to give away, it would have been fine - maybe?  But for a Fund Raiser?  Nope - nothing doing.  Out came the stitches - all 2500 x 16 designs! Plus 4 smaller ones with about 1300 stitches!   What took 3 minutes to put down - took 45 minutes to undo!!  Times that by 16, divide it by 60 and see what you come up with.  Go head I'll wait until you get the calculator!!  LOL  Yes - If you got 12, that means 12 HOURS!!!  Every spare minute was use to take out all those stitches!  Yup... I am a "crazy" quilter!  After this episode I would be prone to think more like "insane"!   Monday night was when finally all the stitches had been removed!
Blocks going in outside border

In the mean time, I kept working on ALL the other parts of this quilt, which I must say are looking might fine. 
The final reveal will be on Thursday... yes I mean tomorrow (great gave myself another deadline!!!) but it may not come until 11:59:59 pm as I may need every single second to finish it by then.  Today is going to be a very long day as I re-quilt the panel and piece them all together.  

WISH ME LUCK!!

Choux
(whose good deeds are OVER for this year with this quilt!!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Fund Raiser Quilt

With one quilt done there is now another in the balance just waiting to be started....no finished.  I have started it and wouldn't you know it?  A flu/cold sets in.  Not now I say... I have work to do!  Alas I have to fight it off, but it's not an easy fight this time.  Guess I have to start going outside whether I like it or not.  

You see, I really am a hermit....really!  I love to be outside, but I don't like to initiate the mobility that brings me out there!  And I do love being outside (without the bugs of course!) and when you get me out there (playing) it is hard to get me to come back in!  Weird huh?   Actually if there are any nurses/doctors reading I'm sure it must be come kind of phobia - it has to be right?  Friends keep telling me to just go out and sit on the deck.... poke your head out your window for a few minutes everyday.  Well last night we had dinner with our dear daughter and when her father-in-law heard I was sick (again) he says to me "you have to got outside!"  I said " yes, everyone keeps telling me that"  He pipes up without  a heartbeat in between my reply and his and says "Well everyone can't be wrong"   OKAY!!!   I get it!   I will go outside!  Not sure when I will fit it in but I will sit on the deck for a few minutes "every day" and just see how well that works. 

Lots of scraps!
Now, through no fault but my own, I am in another time constraint with getting yet another quilt out from under the sewing machine, after keeping a low profile for the past 7 days.  See this little pile of fabrics?  Well they will make 5" squares that make up about 80% of the quilt.  Rather ... was going to make up 80%!  At last count I had 704 pieces to cut that were 1 3/4" x 5 1/2".  Four of these make up a block... I need 280 blocks.   All from my stash... all have to be ironed and cut.  And I have about 5 hours of cutting into this so far.  Yup...another "great" design and one that will be very wonderful (not sure about beautiful) but time is now not on my side to get it completed.  Last night I sewed and cut many of the pieces in the picture.  I was so very sure that I would have enough to get the squares I needed....so I stop sewing and decided to count what pieces were left.  AHHHHH!   I was going to be short by about 200 pieces!  WHAT?? How can this be?   So out comes the calculator and the design ... oh nutz.  Didn't calculate making it bigger.  Pieces needed .... 1128!  Far cry from 704 huh?   This would not due, so back to the drawing board I went and I think I have found the answer!  

But you will see/hear more of that another day as I really must get some sewing done!!
Always in Stitches,
Choux





Sunday, March 13, 2011

Middle of March?

How did we get to the middle of March already??  I know I must have missed some days, even weeks somewhere along the way!  Oh well.... guess I have to work with what time I have, right?

I speak of time as it is now 3 1/2 months to the end of June and yes that is my deadline to have finished 50 UFO's.  And will I make it??  "Time" will tell.  I was at 18 in December and have since did more, but I haven't added them to my list.  Guessing I will have to do that soon before I forget what they are...now wouldn't that be a bummer.  To miss one or two in the count and think I fall short of my goal if I did forget them!  Yikes!!  Something for this weekends "To-Do" list.  

With my quilt guild having a UFO challenge, I have been lucky to complete at least 4 each month - Yeaaaa me!  But this month I may not get them all done.  I got a nasty flu/cold on the 11th and it is hanging on tight.  But I'm still going to try!! 

Another project was to make a quilt top for my grand-daughter's school for a fund raiser.  And yes I did it!!  I was only doing a few blocks a day and then I decided it was time to get this really rolling and gone.  See, I needed 80 - 10 1/2" log cabin blocks before borders were added.   So on March 4th, I sat down at my sewing machine and didn't stop until 11pm that evening.  I had done 43 log cabin blocks that day and put the borders on, but I was done!  Yeahhhh!!  Let me know if you would like tickets on this quilt!  It will be off the long arm quilter in about a week.

Done?  Well yes for that project I am.  Notice I said "that project"?  And yes for every one project completed there is always another that moves into the top spot for my time.  Now I am designing another quilt for the Relay for Life to be held here in June.  This one I will be doing all the sewing & quilting so it is going to be a very tight schedule until this one is done.  Time for when I want this one done.... April 1st!!   Tickets are to be sold and it is hard to sell tickets on something you haven't seen, but it is going to be a very wonderful quilt, if I do say so myself.  Made from my scraps (I have loads of them!!) and only the center of the quilt is from material I had to purchase, I have been thinking of the representation of all the scrap strips and I finally thought of it as I was cutting 704 - 1 3/4" x 5 1/2" pieces.  So keep an eye out here - I will keep you updated on the progress on this one when I get feeling better.

Seeing time is of the essence, I will see if I can make it the sewing machine today for a moment or two.  You all take care of yourselves and others when you can. :-)


Choux

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This month is over???

Snappin' Blue Bells of Scotland!  February is almost over???  Can you believe it?  
Behind all this is my sewing room!
Believe me - that space is NOT
that big to get through!!




I'm sure I have been busy but at what I'm not so sure of.  There was some sewing...yes; and some knitting - okay but what else?   Oh right!! Renovations!  Seems hubby wanted the floor in the basement done and once he started there was no turning back for him.   The door to my sewing room has been blocked for 2 1/2 weeks so I haven't been working down there at all.  Moved one of my machines upstairs on the kitchen table and there is has sat all this time.  Kitchen is in shambles, but tomorrow that will all start changing.   Phew...I thought these reno's would never end!  Today I moved out a few of the boxes and totes; sorted and organized and actually threw "some" things away!!  It is a start!!


In Oct there was a fundraiser here in our little town and I made a signature quilt for the young lady.  I am most happy as to how it turned out and moving upstairs with my sewing machine gave me the opportunity to actually get the quilting on it done!  Whoopee for me!

Completed February 2011
Yes, I will do another on similar to this but not as a signature quilt.  Just a plain ole scrappy quilt from my scraps.  Which I might add have NOT gone down at all.  It seems when you work with scraps...you make MORE scraps .... UGHHHHH!   But I do enjoy working with them...really I do.



Then when there is curling on TV, I either do down binding on quilts by hand or I knit!  So I went and found a couple of the UFO's that I'm busting (yes, I am still busting those babies!!) and finished up two sweaters and still working on a third.  You know, I forgot just how much I love to knit!! LOL
  I am now working on Sweater #3.  Just have the sleeves to make and another UFO will be done!   Then onto a pair of mitts that have been sitting half finished for a few years...yes years.  
UFO Sweater #1
UFO Sweater #2









Sewn & quilted for LQS


Front of now table topper - was to be a curtain for a door!
Back of the table topper

Many, Many YEARS old...but it's done!!
Now I did work on other UFO's at the same time as the Fund Raider quilts.  All were done within a 4 day span!  Believe me - when my Mojo is running at full capacity I can work like nobody you have seen.  Truly, I can think ahead to another project while machine quilting on yet another and have all the kinks/ideas worked out before I even pick it up!!  Sometimes it's scary, but most times I welcome it cause it isn't always like that, believe.  There are times a struggle for ages to figure out something and that doesn't make for a happy quilter!

Tomorrow is not a planned sewing day as much as I would like it to be due to the organizing downstairs, but I hope to maybe make it to the sewing machine for at least an hour.  I have blocks I promised to make for a special Internet friend and they are all cut and ready to sew!  Then all my promises of work for others is done!!  Only wish I could say it was that easy to do for the organization that is to be done.  Do I hear any takers for helping??  LOL


Keep yourselves busy until the next time I check in, which I hope will not be too long from now.  At least it won't be as long as the last one!  ;-)

Hugs all,
Choux

Monday, January 31, 2011

UFO update - Or Not?

Well you all know by now, that I'm on a mission to bust some UFO's this year and for the life of me I cannot get on the band wagon to do so!!   Try as I might, I just cannot pull one out and finish it.  Any ideas on what I can do?

Actually, I'm thinking that it is due to the "winter blues" and we are not talking color here!  I need lots of sunshine even if I am in a sewing room with no windows and don't see it.  I just have to know it's there if I need it and we have only just started getting some of that beautiful stuff, so here's to hoping the energy level returns.

Last Wednesday I went to sew with a couple of great friends and did manage to take out a UFO and got it half  done, so there could be hope for me yet...maybe??  We are now back to meeting each month so that will be my UFO time.  Yes, yes, I know!  I need way more time than one day a month to work on the UFO's and I will start to make the time ... as soon as I find my energy again.  You didn't happen to have seen it, have you??  Well if you do, can you tell it I'm looking for it and to please come home.  Thanks!!

Will keep you updated on the process...I hope!!

Choux