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.