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.