Saturday, January 25, 2020

Truly! I've Been Busy!

Last weekend I spent a 4 wonderful days with 8 other women at quilt retreat. Due to it being a small number of attendees, we were bumped into a room that I was not familiar with. Turned out to be a beautiful place for us to sew, sew, sew! The room was octagonal with huge picture windows on the south side. We saw deer & wild turkeys. Right as I was pulling in, the freezing rain started to fall = perfect timing! By evening, our cars were all iced up. Who cares? We were there to quilt!

So what did I get done? So glad you asked! I got the centers appliqued down on all 18 dresdens and then appliqued to their 5" background squares. This is my Dirty Dozen #9 and also my 2020 UFO Challenge  for January/February with my LQS. Amazingly enough it is also on my 2020 PHD list! It's called A Very Merry  Christmas QAL from Suzn Quilts.
I've cut out almost everything for the ten red thread blocks and the green ones will be next. There will also be stars & 9-patches before this is done.

Angela from SoScrappy has chosen light/bright green for the 2020 Rainbow Scrap Challenge for January. I decided that I need to make 9 of these blocks each month for 9 months. The blocks are 6" finished and there is sashing which form the secondary churn dash blocks. I've got BUNCHES of black & white polka dot fabric that I believe I inherited from one of my deceased quilting friends. I'll think of Marie as I use this fabric from my stash. The pattern I'm using is called Awesome Land and it is from the book "Oh Scrap!" by Lissa Alexander. Such a wonderful book with so many ideas!!! Thank you, Sarah, AGAIN for this wonderful book!

At retreat I thought I had enough fabric ready to assemble the nine blocks but it turns out one of my green strips wasn't as wide as I thought. So here are the eight that I did finish!
My friend Edie was happily sewing together her Frolic blocks by Bonnie Hunter and I walked over to admire her progress. And what did I spy? A beautiful green fabric that Edie was no longer using. I told her that I would really love a 2-1/2" x 12" piece and she told me to take what I need. This is what became of that strip when I got home.
Isn't that green wonderful???!!! Thank you, Edie!

The main project I worked on at retreat was Shark Bite. It started as a leader & ender project with Bonnie Hunter on her Quiltville blog a couple years ago. Earlier I had seen a similar project on an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine that I loved also. The difference between the two: Bonnie used 4-patches and AP&Q used HSTs. The gorgeous turquoise fabric? It's a Jinny Beyer fabric that I managed to have my sister pick up for me quite some time ago. In the middle of this 2-3 year long project, I ran out of the turquoise and so did the original store. I contacted Jinny Beyer's shop and successfully got my hand on more.

This quilt has 121 blocks. 61 blocks have the "teeth" going one way and 60 blocks have the "teeth" going the other way. So glad I tried laying it out when I only had about 30 blocks made. Easy to catch up the alternate blocks that I didn't realize I would need! The blocks were all ready when I arrived at retreat, just needed to sew them all together. The quilt is 11 X 11 blocks, the blocks are 8". Do the math = 88" X 88". Still need to put a narrow border on it to finish it off and I think I have enough turquoise for the binding.
Such a big quilt. It was hard to get a picture of the whole thing. I'm really loving this one!

I also finished knitting a pair of socks. Picture later as they need to be blocked first.

One last couple of pictures that warmed my heart.
Gracie was so happy to see me when I returned home. Such a greeting followed by falling asleep with her bone on her paws.
And my Big Boy, Brody, sitting up all by himself. Can't believe how fast he's growing up! Seven and a half months old and wearing size 18 months clothes!
And Polly loving her morning nap on my fluffy robe. Life is good at the Hoover house!

Linking up with Angela and all the 2020 RSC quilters at Scrappy Saturday! Only a few more days to sew using green. Angela announced early that February's color will be ORANGE!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

PHD Progress Report - Halfway Through Jan

So here we are working on projects, trying to stay focused on getting some of our "Projects Half Done" to the finish line. I decided to set my mind on working on project #11 A Very Merry Christmas SAL. This was a weekly stitch-a-long and I had already done the embroidery blocks and 10 tiny dresdens.

3 of 5 Red Dresdens

5 Green Dresdens
These are a few pictures I found from earlier posts showing progress. I think this was started Fall 2018. Not too terribly long ago but I want to get it done. Here are some pictures of what I've accomplished so far.
From this, a pile of dresdens with more fabric for more dresdens

96 little dresdens blades

96 Blades Getting Points

48 Pairs of Blades

24 Segments
Dresdens being completed
Another project I'm working on is Afternoon Delight which I just started. It's the 2020 Block of the Month from The Quilt Show, designed by the late Sue Garmen. It's going to be a beauty and I hope to have it done by the end of the year. I believe the month of December has been dedicated to assembly so this shouldn't be an impossible dream. This month's blocks include 4 applique and 2 modified Shoo Fly blocks.

I've chosen to needle-turn my applique blocks. I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew. Of course it would go faster if I didn't cut through my block after getting it halfway sewn.
Do you see that erroneous clip right through the marked line at the top of the picture? Time for a do-over! Ugh!

I'm going on retreat this coming 4-day weekend so I hope to make a lot of progress on these projects & more! Haha! Wish me luck!

To see more PHD quilters and see how they're doing, check out Quilting Gail here.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Scrappy Saturday #2, Wrapping Up Christmas

Angela decided to kick off 2020 with a beautiful, bright green for our Rainbow Scrap Challenge. That works out well for me. I'm trying to wrap up Christmas projects  and so my Green Scrap Bin is already out (along with the Red, Gold, & Backgrounds Bins! Ha!). So let's get started with what I'm working on.

I followed along with Suzn Quilts this year making Merry Christmas. We started this project the day after Christmas and got a daily clue for twelve days, leading up to Epiphany. I managed to get the top finished only a day or two after the last clue posted.
Twelve tiny, scrappy 3" blocks surrounding an embroidered 6" dresden block. Dresdens are Susan's signature! The project finished at 12-1/2" square and it would make a cute wall hanging or pillow. I'm leaning towards a pillow ... maybe to be gifted next Christmas! It has made it to the PHD2020 pile (Projects Half Done).

So what project(s) should I work on for RSC? That has been the dilemna for me. So many ideas floating in my head! I knew I wanted to use my book "Oh Scrap!" (which I received as a Christmas gift from my daughter a few years ago and I love Lissa Alexander's scrappy ideas) ....
... so I thumbed through the pages .... and thumbed through the pages .... and thumbed some more. At long last, I finally got my inspiration and decided on "Awesome Land" which is found on page 28.
I loved all the Plus Blocks that were made last year during 2019 RSC and I love the Churn Dash Blocks in the sashing. Cute little 6" blocks and mine will be in a rainbow of colors. Yay! Better yet, I discovered several 2" strips already cut in my Green Scrap Bin! Now to decide what color for my churn dashes. I'm leaning towards dark grays and blacks. I don't think I'll be doing mine scrappy as Lissa did so I'll need to do a little math to be sure I have enough fabric for it to be consistent.

The second project for 2020 RSC will be "Heartfire", a pattern by Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oats. I won this pattern a while ago. Won't this be pretty in rainbow colors too?
An acrylic hexagon template is recommended for cutting out the centers easily. I need to order one up to get started or maybe there's a way to cut the middles out without a template? We'll see ...

The Quilt Show kicked off their Block-of-the-Month on January 1st called "Afternoon Delight". The quilt was designed by the late Sue Garmen and it is stunning. She was such a super designer and, from what I understand, a beautiful person. This quilt is quite THE PROJECT. There are 40 applique blocks, nine modified churn dash blocks, and a ton of double 9-patch blocks. The first month will be available all year long on The Quilt Show and is the introduction to this quilt. You'll have to get a year's subscription for the directions. Check it out ... you'll want to join in too!

This month's clues are four applique blocks and two pieced ones. So far I've got two applique blocks dones and I made a good start on the third.

I think I forgot to post a few pictures from Christmas at our house. Bear with me if you've already seen these.
Morning coffee, sewing, and lit Christmas tree.
Doesn't get much better!

Hubby's new soundbar

All St. Louis Blues fans deserve a
Stanley Cup Champ skin for their tablets!

Merry Christmas from Waldorf MD

Don't let the cat out of the bag! Lol!

What's better than a Cookie Monster?

Two Cookie Monsters!

Mother/Daughter Love

My mother with my brother's kids

Ornament I made for Sarah's tree
On a sad note, my mother's sister (my Aunt Jinny) passed away last night. It wasn't too big of a surprise. Recently she wasn't doing too well and, after all, she did turn 91 last October. I know it'll hit home with my mom because she's been dreading this day. She is now the last of her family. I remind her that that's the way it is supposed to work because she was the youngest in her family. Circle of life and all that.
And so life goes on. In the meantime let's just concentrate on our sweet Brody.

That's enough for now, I think. Time to play with some fabric!

Linking up with Angela at So Scrappy! Bet there's a lot of green going on!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Scrappy Saturday #1

Today starts the first Scrappy Saturday of 2020! and, while I didn't start anything specifically with the color of the month (green), I did play with some scraps of green!

I made these blocks since January 1. They finish 3" so they're quite tiny. The project is a mystery sew-a-long through Suzn Quilts and it should finish about 12". Today will be day 10 of 12 but you can find all the clues right here. Susan is a wonderful teacher/designer so I'm very confident that I won't be disappointed.

I'm off to walk the dog and get ready for our monthly TAS meeting. Have a good weekend!

UPDATE: TAS  had some beautiful show 'n' tell this morning. We also had a make & take project -- a cute little needle book. Just finished it up here at home.

Adorable! Thank you goes out to our "Fearless Leaders", Dana & Katie!

Linking up with Angela at SoSrappy for Scrappy Saturday!

Friday Night with Friends

The  hubbub is dying down. My brother, his wife, and three college-aged children left around 5pm this evening. Here we all are for one last pose.
That's my mother in the middle and my husband & me on the right. We had so much fun playing Parcheesi this Christmas break!

Since the holidays are definitely winding down, I thought I'd take advantage of Cheryll's invitation to the first Friday Night with Friends tonight. I have decided to tackle Afternoon Delight by Sue Garmen. It's the BOM on The Quilt Show and there are four applique blocks to be done this month and two pieced ones. I decided to start the first applique block, which I discovered is actually block number two. Wouldn't you know! Hahaha!
Not a lot accomplished but it felt good to stretch out on the couch with my feet up. Mom was playing Solitaire on her tablet, Fred was playing something on his, and we were all enjoying new programs on TV. I think we were mostly enjoying the quiet of each other's company.

Enjoying the peace & quiet and hope you can find some calm after the holidays too!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Getting My PHD in 2020

Yes, that's right! I hope to be earning my PHD this year. Not a scholarly type but cleaning out my Projects Half Done! Gail over at QuiltingGail will be organizing it and I look forward to finishing up a few (that's a laugh -- lots of!!!) projects started. You can also do this by linking up here.
Starting with #1: My Snowman Quilt, a lap-sized kit I bought from Hickory Stick, Hannibal MO, on a Kinderhook retreat. I finished piecing this at a Todd Hall retreat years ago. It needs to be backed, quilted, and finished off.

#2: Scrap Dance 2-Step. This was a fun mystery quilt-a-long with My Carolina Home a few years ago (2017). I wanted to make it a bit bigger and had a GRAND idea to piece a migrating geese border. Got it organized then proceeded to chicken out. I truly want to work this border, then get it backed quilted, and finished off.

#3: Star In a Star. This was the Twisted Sisters Quilt from     . This is so close to finished, it really isn't funny. Sew the ginormous blocks together and sew up the four cornerstones. Final assembly, back it, quilt it, and bind it. Do it!
#4: Sew Spooky BOM. I started this project with my BFF Vickie. I had been visiting her and we went to a quilt shop - surprise! surprise! We both fell in love with an amazing Halloween BOM, signed up, and kept up mostly. We did a lot of motivating on each other's parts too. I kind of forget how she was doing her blocks, but I chose to put in some wool applique. I love the blocks I completed so it is now time to git 'er done!
#5: Blowin' in the Wind. How many times has this been on my UFO list? OMG! Way too many times and it still sits. It started as a mystery quilt-a-long with my local quilt shop, Rosemary's Fabrics. I love this top but I really need to finish this one up! After all, I made it for my own bed!!!

#6: Hugs & Kisses, aka Riptide. This quilt has been on my UFO list in the past and never got to the finish line. This year!!!!
#7: A Very Merry Christmas to You. Started this QAL with Suzn Quilts. Got caught up with the holidays, followed by my guild's quilt show, blah, blah, blah. Would love to finish this one up.

#8: Easter Wall Hanging. This one is so "done" that it is already pin-basted and ready to be quilted & bound. This ought to be an easy finish .... as soon as I find it again! UGH!

#9: Eva Grace. I really need to get going on this one. It was designed by Irene Blanck from Australia and I started it in October 2018 when Irene visited my TAS group. It is applique so it'll be a longer work-in-progress.
#10: Kyoto. This was a yet another mystery quilt-a-long. This time with Jinny Beyer's blog and it is hand-pieced. I worked REALLY HARD to get this one done for the 2019 UFO Challenge at another local quilt shop, OSew Personal. Got to the borders so I really should be able to finish this one off this year.
#11: Shark Bite. This one started off as a Leader & Ender project with Bonnie Hunter that ended up morphing with a quilt I saw on the cover of a magazine. Fred named it one day when I was laying it out to see what it was shaping up to look like.
#12: Tiny Tuesday. This was Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2019. So fun to put together. I've got ideas for finishing this one up. Let's move it!
#13: Hospital Sketches. Another quilt-a-long, only this time with Barbara Brackman's Civil War blog. Need to sew the blocks together, back it, quilt it, and finish it up.
There are several more that I'd like to add but I think a lucky 13 number of projects will be enough to set for my 2020 goals. Maybe I'll have these finished early and can add a few more finishes. Right, Sue, dream on!

In the meantime, I'll be thinking long & hard about what projects I'd like to do for Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2020! I also need to update my blog page. Happy New Year!!