Thursday, January 08, 2015

New Projects

Doing a quick post today, as I'm busy getting ready to go to a quilt retreat this weekend.

I teased you, in my last post, with mention of a new project that isn't a quilt.  I'm learning a new instrument!  This is my Christmas present:

My darling husband gave me a soprano ukulele!  I've been intrigued with ukes for a while now, and thought that just maybe I could play one.  I played violin when I was in elementary school, and never got any good at it.  Then I found piano, and I've been happy with that ever since.  I don't play really well, or often enough any more, but I love my piano.  So I don't know know why I wanted the uke, but I'm so happy I have one!  There is something about a ukulele that just makes people smile. 

My DS The Kid plays guitar, but I couldn't wrap my fingers around that guitar neck and hold down a string.  My hand fits the uke, and I'm getting a little better at doing the strings.  I can now play the "Happy Birthday" song and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" - both veeeerrrry slowly!  I'm not good at changing chords yet.  But I'm managing to get in at least 30 minutes of practice a day, so am slowly making progress.  It makes me happy.  And I'd like to say a big "Thanks!" to the internets for on-line classes and help.  It's just amazing how much is out there!

I have also started a new project, just for the retreat I'm going on.  I'm taking one older project that needs some machine applique done on it.  I find the process of machine applique very boring, so doing it in a group setting should help.  My new project came from the latest issue of McCall's "America Loves Scrap Quilts" magazine.  

I'm actually using the same colors of fabrics.

I've always loved turquoise and lime together, and also graphic black and white prints, so I shopped my stash for everything I need for this quilt!  Yay!  I may need more fabrics for borders or binding, but that will come later.  I like this pattern so much I might even be able to do it like the pattern calls for!  We'll see how I do with that.  So, I've been furiously ironing and cutting fabric for a few days now. It's nice to cut into some yardage - I hardly ever do that anymore.  Some of these fabrics are pretty old, although there are some newer ones in the mix too.  And I'm even throwing in some of my hand-dyed fabrics.  I find a new project so exciting!  

Here are some potholders I made back before Thanksgiving, and I don't think I ever showed them on the blog.  I haven't been using them since T-Day - I want them to stay nice for awhile!  I made these with some 3 inch string blocks.  These make me smile every time I see them.

I hope you have a fun weekend, and get to do some stitching!  See ya on the other side!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

And another one begins . . . .

. . . a New Year, that is.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  We had a great time here and we did some fun things.  I did manage to (mostly) maintain my serenity.  I didn't do much sewing this year.  I made 2 pillowcases is all, and I totally forgot to take a photo of them.

Got to see the granddaughters in their ballet school's selections of The Nutcracker.  They did so well - they're both becoming very good dancers, and they seem to really enjoy dancing.

Our youngest joined us here for Christmas Eve dinner and opening presents and then we all went over to our oldest's house for Christmas Day for dinner and fun.

This past Tuesday we went to see the very last Hobbit movie.  I'm sad that there will probably never be another one - I've really loved those movies.

Now the holidays are over, the decorations and the Christmas quilts are put away for another year, the cookies are almost all eaten, and it's back to the everyday stuff.  Which is a good thing, because it means more time for sewing!  

I have one more quilt to show you from 2014.  It was actually started a few years ago, but it finally got finished.

Harvest Home
56 x 63 inches
Another simple 4-patch, made with 2 charm packs and companion fabrics.  (This isn't  the best photo - the quilt is not so yellow in Real Life, it's a tan.)  I'm not thrilled with it, and it's not my colors anymore.  But it's DONE and that's the best part! It's even gotten its label. 

As I look back through my blog in 2014, I find that I've finished up 8 older WIPs (works in progress) this year.  Yay!  My goal for 2014 was to finish up some old  projects, and frankly, I'm surprised at how many I got done!  I'd call that a win!  

In an effort to continue finishing some of my old WIPs, I'm still plugging along on the Mystery Quilt from the year 2000.  I'm getting tired of it - it has about a million units - but I refuse to get stalled on it again.  I WILL finish this quilt this time!

more flying geese etc.
I've made all the rest of the flying geese (in different colors from the F.G. on my previous post) and the strips I showed in the previous post have all been sewn.  This is not how they'll go together, but I like this arrangement of the strips.  I need to remember this for later!  This could be fun in another quilt.

final arrangement of the strips
Now all the strips are sewn into their two final configurations, and it's time to sew all the flying geese into their final configuration too.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but the same strips are sewn together two different ways.  I'm not sure how they'll go into the final layout of the quilt.  I'm on step 5 of 6 steps - getting close now!

I ended up making an even dozen of the Block Lotto blocks for December.

Here are 12 Big-O blocks that finish at 7 inches.  And I was one of the winners of the Block Lotto for December, so I'll end up with 48 of these blocks.  Enough for a quilt.  Yay!

I've gotten 2 blocks made, so far, for the Block Lotto for January.

A Double 9-Patch block in black and white. Such a classic block, but there's a minor twist in the choice of fabrics.  Either a black with white print or a white with black print, but the same layout of where the black and white go.  Interesting, no?  I hope to get another couple done this month.

That's all for now.  I hope to be back soon, and I'll show you some of the exciting presents I got for Christmas.  I've got a new project, and it's not a quilt!

I hope you have a creative week!

p.s. Don't miss Audrey's (of Quilty Folk blog) posts on Scrap Quilts here and here.  She has some great things to say and she illustrates what she's saying very well!