Saturday, December 31, 2011

Step 7 Complete and the Mystery Soon to be Revealed

Step 7 is complete can't wait for step 8 and the answer to the mystery.  Thank you to Bonnie for giving it to us early.  This is rather orange overload, as it is laying on my Orange Crush. 

I was thinking as I was stacking up all the parts that that is half the fun.  It is so rewarding to stack up all the little piles that we have worked on so diligently and to anticipate the beautiful quilt that we will have.  (Those who went with Bonnie's colors are assured of a beautiful quilt, mine is a little bit in question at this point, lol.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Orca Bay Step 6 Finished

Step 6 is finished with a few hours to spare.  I'm ready for step 7 and hope that a little more blue or some purple will cool things off a bit.  For some reason the camera is washing out the blues, they are bluer than they look in the pictures.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Step 6 Sample

Thought I'd try a couple of samples, It's gonna be wild, I think "Orca Bay Crazy Lady" may be appropriate.  
PS  I've still only made the 2 sample blocks, but hope to make more soon.  It probably won't be today, Monday, December 26th, as DH has a Dr's appointment in the city (Orlando) and then we are going to Gainesville to visit my brother who is in the hospital there.  It will be a busy day.  I can't wait to make more.  For a look at some real progress visit Bonnie Hunter's blog here .  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is happy and productive.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Orca Bay Step 5 Finished

350 (plus a few extra) step 5's finished.  I should be working on Christmas, but instead I worked on these all evening until 2:00 Am last night.

Then today I got up and started working on them again about 8 AM.  I just finished about 6 PM, although I stopped for a few hours to go to DH's doctors appointment, to our LQS, and to a local restaurant to share one of their giant 8 ounce hamburgers.  Now, on to Christmas preperations. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Step 5 Orca Bay Sample

I've made 3 of the little guys from Step 5.  The Christmas season has caught up with me and I've been designated as Christmas hostess for the family.  I hope step 6 isn't too intense, maybe I can do 2 steps next week, lol.   Here's where you can go to see progress on Bonnie's Orca Bay mystery step 5 in progress.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Orca Bay Step 4 Finished

Finally finished my 128th triangle about 15 minutes ago.  Just in time for step 5 tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Slowly, Slowly Step 4

Since my colors are out there, I figured that this guy adds a little Orca and Christmas atmosphere.   I find string blocks slow going and have to force myself to get to them.  So far I only have 31 of my triangles but I hope to finish before step 5.  Last week I broke a tooth, and today I have a dentist appointment (yuck), and Wednesday I am meeting my brother from Georgia at the VA hosp in Gainesville, Florida (about a 2 hour ride), where he is having a test, and we'll probably have lunch with him.  I'm sure other things will come up, but I hope to finish. 

Here are my crazy colors all together.  I think the flash washed out my purples a bit, but they are still far from the norm.  I hope not too far.  Not knowing what Bonnie has in mind, but wondering if she has something different in mind as to the blocks and settings, something that really showcases the orcas (she has mentioned a couple of times things that made me wonder)  I'm thinking that to be in the Orca Bay mold I may need to do a small black and white inner border, or maybe some type of black and white sashing or sashing and cornerstones.  Sometimes, it's fun to put a little of your own stamp on Bonnie's beautiful patterns.  Sometimes, (like with my colors) it may be necessary.  

OOPS, I almost forgot.  If you would like to see everyone's progress on Orca Bay, or at least many blogger's progress, go to Bonnie's blog here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Slower Start to Step 4 Orca Bay

Due to spending a great deal to time yesterday with my mind going back and forth about my fourth color (I like that, forth and fourth, lol) I am getting a slower start to step 4.  I spent this morning cutting my paper (coloring book from the dollar store) and my strips.  Yesterday, when I was at Target I saw these cute little containers in their dollar section.  I bought 5, but only needed 4 for this, one for 1", one for 1 1/4", one for 1 1/2", and one for 2" strips.   There are a heap of fabrics in there, I hope enough, but if not I'll just cut more.  I realized that these are the exact same colors that I am doing for the strings in my RRCB #2, so if there are too many, no matter, they'll just go in the RRCB (Roll Roll Cotton Boll, Bonnie's mystery from last year) stack.  I'm ready with my extra wound bobbins, my glue stick (a hint from the last batch of strings) and my trusty little wallpaper tool that makes a great iron in between pressings with the real iron.  I'm trying to hold off on the other hint from the last strings, to cut the strips into bite sized sections, as the RRCB strings are larger and I'm hoping to share.   Next step, give the sewing machine a cleaning and oiling, it needs it, and then on to the actual sewing.   After all, I have to get some sewn, as like a child, I have to be ready for Bonnie's Linky on Monday.   I think we were already like children with anticipation for the mysteries each year, and Linky has added another dimension to our childlike enjoyment.  I think that's a good thing.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Iowa (Carolina) Christmas Finished

My "Iowa Christmas" is not a great job, but it is finished.  Finally, I can use it for Christmas after having the top almost ready through two Christmases.  It was Bonnie's end of the year mystery in 2009.  DH and I like our pillows, can you tell.  The top pillowcases are actually Christmas ones, and the unmatched ones I did that way on purpose so that DH would leave mine alone.  I don't think that it has worked though, he grabs whatever is handy.  The quilt at the bottom of the bed is another mystery.  I apologize, I don't remember who was the teacher, but I think it was either on Stashbusters or Cyberquilters and was called "Strip Road".  I messed mine up a bit by getting lazy and using some whole pieces instead of pieced pieces and so I called mine "Christmas Unstrip Road", I'm very original.  Aah Ha, I looked it up and the person who generously shared was Benita Skinner.   That was also back in October 2009, about the same time that Bonnie did "Carolina Christmas" for us.  I had a great fear of quilts over around 60 inches wide, as that was about the widest my Sharon Schamber boards would allow me to baste, but now I've managed a quilt that I think is 92" x 92", so it broadens my horizons and will allow me to make larger quilts.  The extra width was a little challenging to quilt on my Juki, but it was manageable.  One of these days, maybe I'll be able to take a machine quilting class and get better at it and be proud enough to put a picture on of my quilting, lol.  Until then, I just can't do it.   
PS  I had hoped to get my little tree up and Christmas decorations out and maybe I'll get a burst of energy and do it today.  If not, It will have to wait a few days as Clue number 4 of Orca Bay comes out tomorrow and I don't know if I'll be able to set my priorities that way.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Basting the Monster Iowa (Carolina) Christmas

I've seen some Carolina Christmas quilts on blogs lately, one being Bonnie's herself.  I have had the top done except for sewing on the borders (the blocks for the border are made and patiently waiting in a lock and lock container) for almost 2 years.   I decided that I wouldn't have time to get it done if I add the borders, and with the sashing it is already gargantuan anyway.  Bonnie's looked pretty sizable, and I think that my sashing will take up for her borders, I think it is about 92 x 92 or thereabouts, large enough for my queen sized bed.  I can use the border blocks for something else.  I have been putting this off mostly due to fear.  I usually do the Sharon Schamber board method of basting, and I quilt on my Juki with a 9 inch bed, larger than the average DSM, but it is going to be really snug.  My table is 3 feet by 6 feet, no way I can do the board basting method, so this is what I came up with.

Another view before basting.  Yes those are hair clips, and they weren't perfect but did the job, at least gave me moral support.

This is 6 or 7 hours later, and it's all basted.  It's so heavy and unwieldy that I couldn't search the back thoroughly for tucks, but I think I did pretty well, I didn't see any. 

The backing is a yummy flannel sheet from Landsend that I got on clearance a year or two ago.  If I had time I would have done things differently, I would have done the borders and fancied up the back, but it is almost Christmas and I'm in the mood to overcome my fears.   Now on to the next scary part, and I feel up to the challenge, quilting the monster.  My goal is to have it done with a simple meander in time for clue number 4 of Orca Bay on Friday.  Maybe, in my dreams I will have it on my bed and what Christmas decorations I put out and my little tree making things festive around here.  The ones I've seen lately looked so festive and lovely that I want mine done, too.

PS  I'm from Florida, but my mother who passed away a few years ago from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) loved Iowa best and thought it to be the nicest place on earth.  Her Birthday is December 17th and it is named for her.  I wish that she were here for me to give it to.   

I just remembered that in my haste and my desire to act before inertia took over, I forgot all about a label.  I guess that I will have to add one later.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Orca Bay and Sunday Afternoon

The first 3 steps are complete and I can't wait to see if step 4 will have any of the main fabric (mine is the blues mostly turquoise) in it.  It's funny to think that the blocks we have done so far are so small, from 1 1/2" finished to a great big 3" finished, lol.  Usually my pieces are way bigger than these.  Bonnie gives me courage to try new things and in smaller sizes.   Knowing how Bonnie's mysteries sometimes work, some of these could be for the border.

DH has been under the weather with a cold and bad back.  This afternoon he felt a bit better and thought it might do us both good to get out and do a little walking.  In our town on Sunday mornings there is a farmer market in the main street, so we walked along looking at fruits and veggies and jewelry and furniture and such.  One man was a woodworker and he had made this little bench last night.  I moved the leather recliner in my sewing room closer to the TV yesterday and needed a little table to hold the remote, my cell, my kindle or whatever.  He had made it yesterday and only wanted ten dollars for it and I thought it was worth a try.  I think it'll work, it could be a little taller, but I can reach it.

And, if DH isn't being good, or is getting on my nerves I can send him in there, lol.   (unfortunately, it may be more of a reward than a punishment, especially if there's a ball game on.)
If you'd like to see more progress on Orca Bay quilts visit Bonnie's blog here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Orca Bay - Step 3

We were supposed to go meet relatives in St. Augustine today, but DH wasn't feeling well so I've been sewing up a storm.  Can't believe I'm finished, lol.  I even have a few extra 365 in all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orca Bay Step II Start

I wish that I loved making string blocks, but not yet. I don't dislike making them as I did at first, but they aren't my favorites to make yet.   These are my first 16 3 inch finished purple blocks for Orca bay, so I guess that I finally made up my mind and turquoise blues will be my main color.  I feel kind of left out when people talk about how fast they are to make, it seems like I spend a lot of time trying to find a string long enough, or short enough, or thin enough or fat enough.  Only 56 left to go.  They are kind of cute though. 

When I started on Friday and posted on Saturday, I had 16 little blocks.  I have 52 now (Monday), so 20 more to go.  I love how they look, but find the string process a little slow going.   I did get a couple of suggestions though, I'm sorry I'm not sure who from, but I precut lengths and that speeded up the process a bit.   I hope to finish step 2 today and then spend some time on my Iowa (Carolina ) Christmas.
If you'd like to see more cute little string blocks visit Bonnie here .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Step One Done

Step one is done.  I got it mixed up in mind somehow and was thinking at the end that I needed 244 instead of 224, so I ended up with 251 as I wanted a few extra.  Oh well, I'll use them somewhere, maybe on the back.  I still haven't decided on whether to use blues, mostly turquoise, or purple for my main color, I like them both and have mentioned before how wishy-washy I am.  I'm not having a big Thanksgiving at my house, but I am having everyone over Friday for a ham dinner, and my DD is moving this week, so it's a busy time.  I'm hoping after that is over and I do step 2 (which I'm hoping will be one of the smaller steps) to get my monster Iowa (Carolina) Christmas basted and quilted and on my bed.  I'd love to use it this Christmas, it's about time.  I've decided to not add the border, as it is already huge, and  to use the border blocks for something else.  I'll make sure they don't go to waste. 
I've kind of gotten attached to the crazy lady concept, I may call my quilt "Orca Bay Crazy Lady", lol. 

PS    As I was working on these I kept picturing in my mind the Alaska gold rush.  I could see the turquoise water, the purple and orange sunset, the black and white orca's, and an eccentric, maybe even homeless, "crazy lady" wandering the town (I don't know if there was a town, but in my fantasy there was).  In real life, I don't think I'm really a "crazy lady", but I guess that any of us could be if life wasn't kind, so I am going to call this "Orca Bay Crazy Lady", and I guess that it is dedicated to those who really are eccentric, who have had less fortunate lives.  I mean no disrespect in this, and I hope no one takes it as such.  I have worked in the city and seen ladies walking the streets and talking to themselves and in no way do I think myself superior, just more fortunate. 
There's my deep thought for the week.
If anyone feels that I have been disrespectful please let me know and I will change the name.  At first when I posted about the "crazy lady" I was just thinking about myself and my crazy colors, but quilting gives you time to think and my fantasy evolved.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crazy Lady

113 down and 111 left to go if my math is correct.   WooHoo, I'm over half way there.  I was looking at all the pretty combinations on Bonnie's Linky, and have decided that I'm the Orca Bay crazy lady.  My colors are surely the wildest of the bunch, orange, black, purple and blue, and my scrappy is among the scrappiest.  Last mystery I went with Bonnie's colors, and I love my Roll Roll Cotton Boll, but this year I'm definitely out of the box, lol.   I haven't seen an ugly Bonnie quilt, and so I have confidence.   
If you want to see more progress go to Bonnie's Linky here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Few Hour Glasses Done

I don't belong to Facebook, but DH does, and so I joined a group called "A Quilt Block A day" under his account.  The block of the day is hour glasses, and since I'm doing Bonnie's new mystery and the first step has "a few" hour glasses I thought this will be good, I'll use them for both.  I guess that hour glass blocks were on my mind, as I looked at this little strip twist (also one of Bonnie's patterns, except for the corners which I changed up a bit) and thought my goodness another type of hour glass block.
I quickly read step one of Bonnie's new mystery "Orca Bay" yesterday, and then did what she warned against this morning.  In my defense, I was up at about 4:30 am.  These are my first 19 blocks, and the next 205 will be 4 different fabrics, not just 3.   They have a Halloween look right now so I added some of my blues and purples to the picture. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Orca Bay

I decided on these colors for this quilt.  I hope to keep up, but my record isn't the best.  I will do my darnedest.  I will probably leave out some of the more colorful blacks then add some plainer ones, and as someone suggested the lightest orange will be out of there, also a few more oranges added.   I appreciate the opinions and suggestions, I was leaning heavily toward the creams and whites, but DH loves black in quilts and his vote swayed things, lol.  I still haven't decided which colors will correspond to which of Bonnie's.  Also, I live on the other side of the country, about 45 minutes from Sea World and Shamu, so I may have to think of a different name for mine. 

PS   Oops, I didn't have a finish for October and maybe not this month, so I didn't make my goal of a finish a month.  I think I did pretty well though, as I did finish 17 quilts so far.  If I get going and put the Orca Bay off until after Thanksgiving, I might be able to finish my Iowa (Carolina) Christmas by the end of November.  What to do, what to do.  Hopefully, my indecisiveness won't turn into inactivity, lol.   

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I had a suggestion from a kind lady at Quiltvillechat to use cream instead of black for the neutral as it would give the eye a place to rest.  (I had already considered that, but the suggestion sent me to my camera)   Now I've got four choices, and I haven't even tried "green" instead of blue, which was another thought.  I can drive myself crazy.   This is an edit to an edit, I originally started out with only one photo.

A few changes have occurred over the past few weeks.  One, I started my job with XBox, and quit my job at Xbox.   It just wasn't for me.  My stomach hurt constantly from the stress, and I'm just not a gamer type, and I felt that I wasn't doing justice to XBox or their customers or myself.  I know that jobs are scarce, and I am not sure that I did the wisest thing, but it is done, and my stomach isn't hurting anymore.  I do need to think about putting in some work applications though.   My daughter's quilt is almost all quilted, but then I ran out of thread.  I had purchased a spool of the King Tut number 929, and I think that I gave it to my daughter and she thinks I didn't.  I have reordered, so probably in the next few weeks it will turn up at one of our houses.   I have been debating trying to take part in Bonnie Hunter's new mystery.  I had an order all filled out for Hancock's of Paducah and then thought that I would be better off to see what I have.  I'm not sure that I'm going to participate, but if I do these are possibly my fabrics.  Then again, maybe orange instead of yellow, or maybe creams instead of black or maybe.........    PS  I added the orange, just to see.   

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yet Another Gator Quilt

My son-in-law loves the Florida Gators and so does my new granddaughter.  My daughter wanted to do something extra nice for Christi's Christmas this year, so I think you can guess what she came up with.  Yesterday we got everything cut out, and today after some machine problems she sewed and sewed.  Here is the result, a top complete except for the borders.  I wanted her to be in the picture, but she said she didn't have makeup on, so she is holding up her creation.  We are under a time restraint as we start training this coming Wednesday for our new jobs, and she is going to have different hours and different days off (after training) from mine.  We will have to work something out.  Also, Christi will be here for Thanksgiving, but not Christmas, so that also means hurry every chance you get.