Sunday, January 21, 2018

End of Week Reporting for the Third Week of January

I had a fairly good week as far as spending 15 minutes in the sewing room. I spent six out of seven days sewing or prepping fabric to sew. I just couldn't work it in on Tuesday when bookkeeping took up my day and fried my brain. I'm keeping a spreadsheet to show how many days of the week I'm sewing, but I think I need to have a page tracking each day. I know I did something Wednesday, but I don't remember now what it was. That sounds like a good rainy Sunday project.  I don't expect to have good numbers next week.  Hubby went on a business trip early this week and brought home a cold.  Today, I woke up with a sore throat.  Drats!

I didn't unpack any fabric this week, at least not any of the quilting cotton I am tracking right now, but I did buy some fabric so I can finish a UFO. The sad thing is that I know I have enough scraps to finish this but I can't find any of my green or orange scraps. So I bought some inexpensive fabric from Walmart to finish this. It is going to be a wall hanging, so a cheaper fabric will be fine.

Linking to:
15 Minutes to Stitch at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at Quilt Paint Create

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Day of Loss Is a Day of Discovery

That's actually what the guy at Walmart told me as he was helping me. My day started out with me getting out of bed on time. Before you say 'so what?' in your head, let me tell you how unusual that is. I have a terrible time waking up in the morning. Insomnia does that to me; I feel like a big blob of molasses in the morning. The alarm rings and I turn if off and fall back into bed, melting back into my warm spot. But this morning I had a meeting at the library where someone was going to teach knitting and I actually stayed in solid form after turning off the alarm.

I bought my needles and yarn a couple of weeks ago and took it to the library last Saturday only to learn I had come on the wrong day. So I just left my supplies in the back seat so I would have them today. Except they weren't there. That's the bad thing about sharing a car. Hubby cleaned out the car so he could use it, and he remembers bringing in my needles and yarn, but he doesn't know where they are now. So I went to the library to tell them I wasn't coming, or rather wasn't participating and drove on to the next town to get some fabric for one of my quilting UFOs. That was the first frustration of my day.

The next frustration was not being able to find my scrap fabrics. I knew I only needed a few little strips of each fabric, and I really didn't want to go to the store. But last night I searched through at least twenty boxes and I never found even a scrap of fabric. I found a box marked winter clothes, so not all time wasted. But it meant a trip to town. And since I was going to town, I decided to take a pattern I made for foundation paper piecing. Somewhere, we have a printer with a scanner, but it must be in storage because I didn't find it in any of those boxes either. So my first stop was Office Depot. They have fancy new self-serve copiers since I last used them, and I couldn't figure them out. When I pressed the start button, it wanted a name and password. I had to wait in line at the printing desk while someone ordered business cards, and then I asked if there were directions how to use the machines and set up a password. The guy there said that wasn't needed, just push the cancel button and hit print. So I did. And it only printed half my pattern. Now there were three more people in line. So I just left.

Next stop was for fabric. Normally, I would pay for fabric with my credit card, but our card had fraudulent activity on it this week, so it was cancelled and we won't have new cards until next week. So I needed the cash I keep in my billfold in the car. Since I stopped carrying a purse, I don't carry cash with me. Just a driver license, credit card, phone, and keys weigh me down these days. My shoulder thanks me. Everything I used to carry in a purse, I now carry in the console of the car. But remember how I said Hubby cleaned out the car? Yeah, no billfold in the console either. I was limited to the twenty dollar bill I tucked into my pocket before I left home. I don't know if I've ever bought fabric for less than twenty dollars. This was going to be hard. I was going to have to tell myself no. And no. And no again.

That brings me back to the clerk-in-training at the store. I must have had a sour look on my face, or maybe that's just my usual look. I prefer to call it consternation as I deliberated the fabric choices and my limited budget. Finally, I made my decisions and he, being the chatty sort, asked me what I was going to make, and what all I needed to make it, and why not buy the batting and backing now too. That brought out my confession about losing stuff today. "Well," says the young philosopher, "your day of loss is also your day of discovery" as he pointed to the fabrics I picked out to complete my UFO. "You're a delightful optimist," I said, bringing a beaming smile to his face. "Of course, you aren't the one who lost your billfold either." Now I'm home, and ready to start working on this UFO. This is one of the UFOs on my first quarter list for Marci Girl Designs Finish-a-long.

This is the plan I made last night in MS Paint. I intend to use patterned fabric, but that's not on option in Paint.

And these are the fabrics I bought, some of which I may or may not use. I just didn't want to have to go back to the store once I get going.

Linking to:
UFO Busting at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
MOP at Tweety Loves Quilting

Monday, January 15, 2018

Design Wall Monday and First Finish of 2018

First up is the finished Cars quilt. I put the label on Saturday, but had to wait until Brownie went to work today before I could show the final product. If you noticed the white lines before, those are velcro strips. They are for the carports (pieces of vinyl placemats covered with fabric, with the corresponding velcro on the edges). A couple of little toy cars, and the quilt is ready for car trips. The back is flannel to make it warm and snuggly.

If I had a design wall, this little block would be on it. I'm not sure what I will do with it except that I want to make it a small wall hanging.

Linking to:
Moving it Forward at Em's Scrapbag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
UFO Busting at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting

Sunday, January 14, 2018

End of Week Reporting for the Second Week of January

I was hoping I wouldn't have to buy any fabric to finish the quilts I've started. But I didn't have enough of anything to bind the Cars quilt. I'm pretty sure I have some of the same stripe fabric I bought this week, but it must be hiding at the bottom of a box somewhere. So yes, I did buy a yard of fabric, a half yard of stripe and a half yard of yellow so I could make Susie's Magic Binding. Love that technique!

My stash numbers have also grown this week because I have continued to unpack fabric. So while my stash number has gone up, the actual fabric in my home is really not any different. Just a difference in found and unfound. Unpacking is not all bad though because I found my favorite ruler, a much needed space heater, a desk lamp, AND three UFO's. I might be able to play along with the American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge by number after all. I thought I'd probably have to do them as I found them.

So without further yak yak, here is my stash report.

I'm also pleased to report that I have gotten in at least fifteen minutes of sewing every day this week. After posting this, I need to get to the machine or I won't be able to say that next week.

Linking to:
Sunday Stash at quilt paint create
15 Minutes to Stitch at Life in Pieces

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Prairie Dog Town

This prairie dog town is next to the campground at Caprock Canyons State Park. These little guys are fun to watch as they seem to be running around not paying any attention to cars or people on the road. But just take a step too close and suddenly, they whistle an alarm and then they all run toward their tunnels.

This town is on both sides of the road. What looks like lumps of clay or rocks in this picture is really lots of prairie dogs. The mounds around some of the holes are a little easier to see. Some holes are small, but others are quite large. The hole under the trash dumpster in the top right corner was so big that it looked like the corner of the dumpster could fall in.

Above is a cropped section of the same photo. See the prairie dogs now?

After a few minutes, they all come back out again as if nothing happened.

This little guy (or gal) was in an area by himself.  When he saw me watching him, he stood up and looked around like he just realized he was all alone.

He looked like he was about to jump in his hole, but then decided to stop and watch me.

I was ten to twelve feet away and keeping as still as I could, and he sat up again and just watched me.

After a few minutes, he turned his head to look around a little, but he never took his eyes off of me. When I walked off, he ducked into his hole. Searching for his friends who deserted him no doubt.

As I walked toward a road intersection to join Hubby, a startled prairie dog ran across the road.

Here is her glamour shot as she stopped beside a pot hole in the road.

She paused for a moment and then jumped into the pot hole. We waited a few minutes, but she never came out, so we walked over to the pot hole to see if she was crouched in the bottom.

It wasn't a pot hole at all! The prairie dogs had dug through the pavement and she was long gone!

Friday, January 12, 2018

2018 Finish A-Long First Quarter Goals

Leanne at she can quilt posted her 2018 First Quarter Linky the other day. I could just link to my year's UFO goals, but I decided to do a separate post for the Quarterly goals because I've almost finished my January UFO goal and because I haven't found where all my UFO's are packed yet.

1. Double Irish Chain.

2. I would really like to finish my trailer quilt. I keep thinking it will be in the next box I unpack, and so far, it hasn't been found. I never even took a picture of the blocks as I was making them, so I have nothing to show and I can't remember for sure how far along I had gotten on it. So I should mark this as a maybe.

3. Then there is this little orphan block.

It's been in the way for a few weeks now and I really need to make use of it in something before it gets messed up. I could make a bin for orphans but that would only encourage them to grow. No, I need to do something with it.

So there is my list, and I am linking to she can quilt because I. Am. In!

Now if I can just remember to link up again at the end of the quarter.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Almost Wordless Wednesday

A couple of days before Christmas, we camped at Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque, Texas. This is my favorite camping destination. The park has a herd of wild buffalo, prairie dogs, and some pronghorn antelope. We have yet to see the antelope. This time we walked the canyon rim.

On one side of the trail is the flat plain of the caprock.

On the other side of the trail is the canyon dropping down from the caprock's edge. Here and there along the trail are paths that lead right to the edge of the canyon for great shots of the canyon and surprise shots of husbands taking photos of the canyon.

From these vantage points are breathtaking views into the canyon.

Linking to:
Wordless Wednesday at Comedy Plus
Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday
Wordless on Tuesday at image-in-ing
Blog Hop at Curious as a Cathy

NC Sue, if you are reading this, I wanted to comment on your cotton boll pictures but can't comment on your blog anymore without joining Google Plus. I love that you grew them and got them to go through all the stages. I've always thought it was a pretty plant, but never noticed that the blooms turned pink. Driving down the road, that isn't very noticeable I guess, so I was thrilled to see it.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Design Wall Monday - Cars is Quilted!

This weekend and this morning, I spent just about every waking hour quilting and it will be the last time I quilt on my little Janome. My shoulder may never recover!

It looks distorted in these pictures but that's because I didn't have Hubby here to hold it and I had to stuff the corners in a couple of cabinets to hold it up. At least I hope it's not distorted. After all the pushing and pulling this weekend, I should probably block it before binding.

It didn't help that I was working in the trailer with my machine on a tv dinner table. I also haven't found my quilting gloves yet either, but found that my dishwashing rubber gloves have a better grip. Who knew? lol

Jo from Jo's Country Junction is doing a BOM Challenge in 2018. The challenge is to finish a BOM that is a basically a UFO. The assignment for this week was to find said project. That might be easy for some quilters, but when most of my stuff is in boxes, unmarked boxes at that, it made it a little more difficult for me. I didn't find my BOM. In her post describing the challenge, Jo said that the reason she doesn't like BOM's is that it seems such a waste to spend all that time reading directions and cutting just for one block. That clicked with me and I realized that I feel the same way. When people talk about doing a sampler challenge, I just cringe. So thank you Jo for not making me feel guilty when I say no to samplers.

Here is my BOM, even though I haven't found the actual project yet. This is what it looked like the last time I saw it. I only have one block left to finish. I'm not sure why I never finished it, except it was the first BOM I had ever done and I was tired of it by the time I got to the last block.

I'm linking to:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
Moving it Forward at Em's Scrapbag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, January 7, 2018

End of Week Reporting

Although my numbers don't show it, it's been a really good week for me. I've been quilting the Cars quilt the last few days. It's a toddler size quilt, but it feels like a queen when I'm trying to pull it through the neck of my little machine. I thought of sending it out, but I want Hubby to deliver it next week and the quilter has backlog, so that wasn't going to happen.

I've also been working on a cabinet that will house my stash. After stripping the interior, I stained it, but it isn't taking the stain as dark as I'd like it to be. I may just call it good and go on. It's the inside after all. Friday, Hubby and I went to Fort Worth to find some wood to replace the cheapo backing that was originally on the cabinet, and we bought some plywood to start building cabinets. He spent the weekend wiring which freed me to quilt. My shoulders and back are killing me but I should be finished soon. I've been almost glad to spend time ripping out stitches so I can relax a little.

Starting with the stash report. Although I didn't use or buy any fabric for the stash, the numbers have changed nevertheless. I found a box with scraps and some fabric.

I'm using Kate's format to track my 15 Minute Sewing Challenge.
I spent at least fifteen minutes sewing for five days this week.
And since it's the first week of the year, that's five days this month.
And five days this year.
That's a 71% success rate for the first week of January.

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Stash Report at Quilt, Paint, Create

Monday, January 1, 2018

Getting a Fast Start in the New Year

The sun is out today, after what seems like a week of misty, gray skies. Yesterday was cold, gray, and windy. Today is just cold and windy, but it seems so much better. Happy New Year sun!

Yesterday, I was going to iron the backing fabric for Cars, but I had been sorting my scraps by color and didn't have another place to put them. So I shelved the ironing plan, or rather, I wanted to shelve it, but I have run out of shelves! Instead, I put together a hutch I found on craigslist a couple of years ago. I had painted it black to match my dining room table, but when we put our house on the market, I took it apart and put it in storage to make the house look uncluttered. After putting it back together, I realized how much my eyes have gone downhill. I have been having trouble seeing dark things against dark backgrounds, but I couldn't even tell where the outside frame ended and the open inside area began. This wasn't going to work at all.

By evening, I had decided to strip the paint inside the hutch to make that part lighter. The temperature in the attic was a balmy 44 degrees and dropping, and I wasn't sure Citristrip would work in that temperature. I usually do my stripping in summer and have to worry about it drying out, not freezing. lol But I brushed it on and went back to the trailer to eat dinner. Afterward, I ran a wide blade across it and the paint peeled off like skimming froth off the top of a boiling pot. It was amazing. Today, I'll sand and stain, and I should be able to use it in a few days.

In the meantime, I need to find a place to put my sorted scraps, and get Cars sandwiched. Today, the top is in the flimsy state. Finishing Cars is my January Goal at One Monthly Goal. I've already decided that the UFO challenge at American Patchwork & Quilting won't work for me. I've already lost it on my facebook feed among the random crap that people post.

If I can get the backing made today and pinned tomorrow, I think I can set up a sewing table in the trailer where it is warm. If that doesn't work, I'll have to wait until it is warmer in the attic. Hubby is drilling through studs for wiring today, so it is too dusty downstairs to do anything. His January goal is to finish the bathrooms in the house. I will admit, taking a shower without running out of hot water sounds pretty good.

In 2014, scraphappy at soscrappy posted a tutorial for making a Twinkle Star block. I made a couple and then put them aside, and then forgot about them. I found one the other day and after watching Kate at Life in Pieces make her Twinkle Stars quilt, I've decided to make that my block for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This month's color is blue. I also hope this will make a good leaders and enders project.

Linking to:
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking up Quilts
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts