Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Judy L's UFO Challenge

Judy Laquidara is doing a UFO Challenge for 2011. I have way too many to post photos of all the UFOs I plan to finish next year. But I'll show you the first 12, the ones I'll be doing along with Judy and the others who are playing. Instead of numbering them and working on the UFO whose number is drawn for any given month, I've assigned each UFO a month when I'd like to work on it. I'll fit in other UFO finishes as I can, but these are my "official" ones. For the purposes of this challenge, I'm going to consider a completed top, with backing and binding prepared and ready to go to be a "completed project. "

It will be so good to get these projects finished! Here are my twelve "official" UFOs for 2011:

January: Winterscape -- This needs the features and arms added to the snowmen, the top and bottom units sewn together, and a number of borders added, including one pieced border.

February: Thimbleberries Goose in the Pond "mystery" -- This is all in rows -- there are rows of 3 blocks each, and sashing rows. The picture is only of part of the row, but it's all there.

March: Yellow/Orange/Green Bargello -- The picture is of one strip set. I've got all seven made, they just need sewn into tubes, crosscut into slices, and sewn back together.

April: Square Knot (by Peg Bingham) -- The picture is of one block. All the blocks needed for this quilt are pieced, they just need set together and the borders (including a pieced border) added.
May: Broken Star -- This is the center star. The original design has three more pieced diamonds at the tip of each star point. Those diamonds are all made, but I've started thinking that instead, I'll piece all those diamonds into 3 more stars, and just make a quilt out of four big star blocks. I haven't decided for sure yet, and still have a few months to do so.

June: Body in the Kelp -- The picture is of six of the twenty total blocks. The blocks are all made, they just need to be framed and set together.

July: Bargello -- The pictures are of both sides of one tube, which is made and has had some slices cut off of it, though none are sewn together. The rest of the needed strips are cut, and the rest of the tubes are under construction.

August: Tidings of Great Joy -- These are some of the nine patch blocks that will make up several rows of this quilt. There will also be angels, stars, and words in the finished quilt.

September: Pat Sloan's OP Challenge -- Some time back, and I don't remember when but I'm sure it was more than a year ago, Pat Sloan challenged her blog and newsletter readers to pull out their orange fabrics, put them in a pile and photograph them, pull one or more colors to go with them, and put them into a quilt. She designed this block for the challenge, although my blocks are not yet complete. From what's pictured, they get halved in both directions, and a narrow strip of a third fabric gets inserted. They also get triangles on each corner. I have a lot more blocks, and they're all at this point.

October: Ribbon Wreath (by Peg Bingham) -- This has four or six (I don't remember for sure) applique blocks as in the picture, and they're all done. The pieced blocks are all as in the picture, about half pieced.

November: Celtic Cubes (by Peg Bingham) -- All the required blocks for this are to the same point, nearly completely pieced.

December: Summer 2001 QSC "Mystery" -- This picture is just of the fabrics, because all that's done on this is the cutting. Well, most of the cutting. Really? From 2001? Yep -- I didn't cut ahead of time (got busy and ran out of time), so I spent the whole time the day of our get together, when everyone else was sewing, on the cutting. And never got back to it. It's time.

There are SO many more UFOs I have, and as much as I'd love to finish them ALL next year, I know that won't happen. But I am on a mission to finish as many as I can during 2011. Stay tuned, and I'll share my progress. It should be a fun year, making progress on my own UFOs and watching everyone else make progress on theirs. Thanks for stopping by to take a look. Come back any time.

Year of Stash Socks -- January project yarns

My book for the one YOSS project came in yesterday's mail, so I was able to choose my yarn and wind it into a ball and take its picture. First is that yarn, for the project called Changeling. It's from Cherry Tree Hill, a yarn called Soft Twist. The colorway is one of their Potluck runs, and it's called "Awakening."

Next, for the project called St. Brigid's Carnamoyle Stockings, I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Wheat.

In my experience, Wool-Ease isn't great for socks, as it tends to get pilly. I suppose I could avoid some of that by hand washing the socks, but if I'm honest, I have to say I probably won't do that. The point of the YOSS is to use stash if you have it, and the good yarns I have of the appropriate weight for this project are earmarked for sweaters and such. So I'll use the Wool-Ease, and have the experience of making this pattern and learning what I can from it. If they don't last too long before they get pilly, I'll just enjoy them as long as I can, and then wear them around the house after that.

Finally, for the "plain vanilla" socks for January, I'm planning to use this yarn from Online. That's a funny company name, but that's what it says on the ball, big as can be. I can't tell if there's a color name on the band, because none of it's in English.

I think it'll work up into a pretty interesting pair of socks -- my DH has already expressed an interest in them, so I'll make them for him. He loves fun and quirky socks, which means he never fusses about my yarn stash, as long as I make him a pair of socks from time to time. Actually, he wouldn't fuss anyhow, because he's a great guy and understands about these obsessions that feed my soul.

I'm ready to cast on all three of these socks come January 1! Thanks for stopping by to check them out. Come on back any time.

Mystery Quilt time

Every New Year's Eve, the Fabricaholics Anonymous Yahoo group does a mystery together, which is designed by Ann Smith. I believe there are some other groups who also do the same mystery, though I don't remember what they are for sure. The 2008 one is one of my about-to-be-completed UFOs. I didn't do the 2009 mystery with the group, but liked the design so well I cut out and started (barely!) two of them. This year, I'm planning to sew along with the group.

Here are the fabrics I'll be using:

I'd planned to get my cutting done more than a week ago, but life got in the way. I'll do it today, and be ready to go on Friday. When the top is finished I'll post a picture, since it probably won't get quilted right away.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back again any time.

Self-Proclaimed Queen of UFOs

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011, the year of socks

Besides being a quilter, I'm also a knitter and crocheter. Because I have no restraint, my yarn stash, and especially my sock yarn stash, is out of control. I think I could probably knit at least 300 pairs of socks from my existing stash. The trick is going to be to live long enough to do just that.

In an effort to diminish that stash a bit, I've recently joined two "sock club" type groups on Ravelry. The buttons for both are on my sidebar, over to the right. One of them, Year of Stash Socks 2011 (YOSS2011), will be making one, two or even three different sock patterns every month. The moderators will choose two patterns, and there's always the option of doing a "plain vanilla" sock from any pattern you choose. I hope to do at least one with them most months. In January, I'm hoping to do all three socks. The other, Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club 2011 (S62011) is making one sock pattern every two months. I fully intend to make every pattern along with that group. I've already chosen my yarn for the year for that one -- one of the "rules" was to preselect your yarn from your stash, and put it away in individual opaque containers. I didn't do that, but have each yarn in a plastic bag along with the pattern it goes with. I also have my yarn chosen for two of the three options for January for the YOSS2011 group. The other pattern is from a book which I didn't own, but which is on its way to me by Priority Mail. What did I say about having no restraint? It applies to books and patterns as well. When the book arrives, I'll choose that yarn as well.

For now, here's the yarn I'll be using in January for the S62011 project:

It's a Cherry Tree Hill yarn called Soft Twist, it's handpainted, and it was one of their Potluck runs. The colorway is called "Over the Hills and Far Away." I'm really looking forward to seeing this yarn knitted up -- I love it in the hank, and I think it will work really well for this project. And if not, they're only socks ;-)

I'll show photos of the YOSS2011 yarns tomorrow or Thursday, depending on when my book arrives. I figure I'll just show all three of those yarns together in the same post. For now, I'm off to wind these yarns into balls.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back again any time.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

For the first time, I'm joining in Judy's Design Wall Monday. Here's what's on my Design Wall today:

This is a Thimbleberries pattern, from the book North Bay Quilts. I started this at Thimbleberries Club back in 1999, at a shop in the Cleveland, Ohio area called Abigayle's. The pattern was for a table runner, three blocks set block-to-block. I don't really use table runners, and decided to make twelve blocks to make a good-sized lap/throw quilt. I only have one block up because they're all the same, and this design wall is pretty small so all 12 of them wouldn't fit anyway. Actually, the blocks are all still in 3 rows, and need sewn together into blocks, then the blocks set together into a top. With or without sashing (I haven't decided yet about that), and with borders.

I'm hoping to have this together as a top very soon!

Thanks for stopping by. Come back again any time, and enjoy seeing everyone else's design walls, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Christmas Gift

Here's what I got for Christmas:

A Babylock Quilter's Choice machine. I actually got it a few weeks ago, though I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. A local store was selling classroom models at a good discount. It IS my Christmas gift, though.

It does all kinds of stitches, has the knee lift, needle down and thread cutter that are so useful in quilting, and will probably do me very well. The coolest thing about this machine, though? It can sew SIDEWAYS. Yes, sideways. That blew my mind. I can't wait to really start playing around with this machine. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Tomorrow I'll have something in progress on my Design Wall, and maybe I'll also have a finish to show. Thanks for stopping by.

Self-Proclaimed Queen of UFOs

Friday, December 24, 2010

Another Finish

I've been working on finishing up a number of my (many!) UFOs. I find it's most productive for me to batch things -- I'll add borders to a number of tops, quilt a number of tops, then trim up and bind a number of quilts. It means I have spurts of lots of finishes, and apparently not much going on in between. I was feeling a little bit like I wanted another complete finish, so I went a bit off the assembly line, and finished up this table mat. I made it in the "Trick of the Month" class, but because it was an irregular shape around the outside, and I didn't want to change that, it didn't get included in the sampler quilt shown in my last post.

Here it's shown on my design wall, both with the white background of the flannel-backed tablecloth,

and then with a dark fabric behind it. I couldn't decide which background showed it better, so I'm including both pictures. The color's a little bit off in both of them -- the light isn't really a tan, as it appears here. It's a really light green batik.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, and a wonderful weekend either way. Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Self-Proclaimed Queen of UFOs

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Adventure

Well, I've finally decided to do it. I've resisted starting a blog for a long time, but decided it's the best way to share pictures of what I've been working on with friends and family. I can't guarantee I'll post every day, but I'll post when I have something to say, or something to show.

Here's a photo of my most recent finish. This was from a series of classes I took at a shop in Akron, Ohio, A Piece in Time, when I lived near there. Probably about 2001 or 2002. The class was based on Billie Lauder's piecing shortcuts, and was called "Trick of the Month." So, because I'm so original in naming my quilts, this is called Trick of the Month Sampler.

Some leftover bits got used on the back, to make it a little bit more fun.

I'll have some more finishes to share soon. For now, thanks for stopping by. Come back any time.