Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Play

I was up and at it early Friday morning...No, I didn't get out in all that shopping madness!  I have more sense than that!

I had set a goal at the beginning of the month to complete Orca Bay to the flimsy stage before starting Celtic Solstice.  I had all the parts completed and pinned and Wednesday was supposed to be the day to stitch it all together.  Instead I spent the day taking care of some church business and made sure that a local family would be housed, warm and fed for the holidays. 


So this morning I spent about 2 hours getting the first half of my Orca Bay stitched together.  I decided to cut myself some slack and when the first clue for Celtic Solstice posted I set Orca Bay aside and got started. 

First I need 140 orange base triangles.  
I have six different orange shirts and some quick math told me I should cut 24 triangles from each shirt so that I had an even variety of prints.

Next I need 240 neutral base triangles
Again I have six different neutral shirts and the math says cut 40 triangles from each shirt.  I've only gotten half (120) of them cut so far.

My grandson came over for the day so I had to split my time between playing with him and getting some cutting done. 

We had lots of fun driving and crashing cars all over the living room floor!

Then it was time to make lunch.  And while I was preparing it,I suddenly found myself tripping over lizards and dinosaurs that kept flying out from under the kitchen table!  

We were about to call for an exterminator when my grandson the zookeeper arrives and sets up a fenced in zoo in the corner of the dining room.  The lizards and dinosaurs had to be fenced in their own separate areas.

This was the first time he showed us his active imagination and it was a fun filled day for all.

After a plate full of Thanksgiving leftovers, I'm heading downstairs to finish cutting the remaining 120 neutral base triangles.

The last bit of cutting for this step is 380 blue pairs of triangles.
I have 7 different blue shirts.  With some help I determined that they can be paired into 21 different combinations.   Some additional math tells me to cut 18 pairs from each of the 21 combinations... but that cutting and the sewing will wait for another day.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday I planned to sew my brains out and get Orca Bay finished before the start of the Celtic Solstice mystery begins tomorrow.  But I got a phone call from the church as I was preparing breakfast... a parishioner was in need of help.  I am a member of our parish outreach program.  We accept donations and use them to assist anyone in the community who is having a hard time making ends meet. So I ate my breakfast and jumped in the car to meet them and see what I could do to help.

This family was desperate.  A stay-at-home mom with three beautiful little ones.  A dad who hadn't worked in over a monthNo gas in the car to search for a job. Meager food supplies in the cupboard.  The utility and rent bills were overdue and scheduled for cutoff...but their savings was wiped out.  The trailer they were living it was patched with cardboard, plastic and duct tape to keep the freezing air out.  The heater was broken.  The trailer was cold and temperatures were heading into the teens.  The slumlord not making repairs and threatening eviction.

After consulting with other members of the group I spent most of the rest of the day fighting traffic, long lines and freezing temperatures. I arranged for the children to be placed on the parish angel tree to receive warm coats and a gift for Christmas.  I also placed them on the list for a Christmas food basket. I was able to gather some warm clothes for the children, buy a space heater, pick up some groceries to stock the cupboard, pay the utility bill and I ran home for my gas can to fill their car's tank.  By the end of the day I was cold and tired, but this family was going to be warm and fed through the holidays.   Oh and the rent... there was a small office located in the middle of the trailer park that looked as bad as the trailer this family was living in... and as I looked around... all of the trailers were in bad shape.  I found out the slumlord is never there... he just comes knocking on doors when the rent is due.  I'm sure he was in a much nicer and heated home!  Next week I think I'll make some inquiries as to what can be done about him and to help everyone living there.

So today, as I rush around and prepare my family's Thanksgiving meal I am thankful for many things...

My husband, who has been blessed with continuous steady employment that has kept our family housed, fed and comfortable for almost 29 years and has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom to raise and care for our children and now our grandchildren.

For parishioners and community members who donate funds to our outreach program.

For my health and ability to help and serve others in need.

So today, I am wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Setting Decisions

I think I am finally ready for the new mystery, Celtic Solstice, to begin.  I now have all my colored shirts (and a couple pair of pants) and a handful of neutral shirts deboned and ready to work with.  With two more Wednesdays before the 29th I will stop back at Goodwill to see if I can add to the variety, but I think I have enough.

Please pardon the bad photography.  I dropped and broke my camera (I got the phone call yesterday that it will cost more to repair than it's worth) so I have to wait until Christmas for a new one from my hubby.... unless he, hopefully, feels sorry for me and brings one home sooner!  In the meantime, I am trying to take pictures with my kindle.  The pictures are a bit off centered, blurry, and the color isn't quite right, but this will give you a rough idea of what I'm doing.

While I wait for the mystery to begin, I have been working... on and off... to finish up my version of Orca Bay.  Today, I got anxious and decided to lay out all the pieces to see what I have.

But as I sat looking it, I thought, what happens if I surround the purple blocks instead of the yellow blocks with the blue?  WOW!  A totally different look and a decision to make, which way do I go?

Monday, November 4, 2013


 I'm getting ready for the new mystery and since Bonnie loves antique machines I have decided to do some practice stitching on my treadle.

According to the serial number she was made in 1921! The stitches are beautifully even for such an old girl! 

I can't wait to get my camera back from the shop so I can get some better pictures to show you.   

Now I need to develop some coordination skills if I am going to use this for the mystery.  Going to practice this week with some mindless stitching of strips.  We'll see what I end up doing with them later.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

2013 TOTALS - September AND October

OOPs... This month will be a combined report of work for the last two months... I forgot to post an update for September!  

My grandson started Pre-K in August and I have been busy providing before/after school care as well as weekends while his mom works.  This has cut into my sewing time, but I try to cherish this time we have together while it lasts.

I made progress on my Spring Wall hanging... getting all of the flowers fused and have begun the process of hand-sewn blanket stitches around all the edges.  

I had two craft shows in late September and was able to finish several sets of placemats and tablerunners and some kitchen towels to sell.  I love doing the shows and meeting people... old and new customers too!

I am still working on Orca Bay... I have a few more (16) of Step 7 flying geese to make.  I hope to have this assembled into a top before the new mystery Celtic Solstice begins!

One "sewing" thing I can do with the grandson underfoot is sort through my boxes of  Goodwill shirts to find the colors I need for Celtic Solstice.  It's one way to help teach him his colors.  I was pleased to find I had most of what I needed.  A couple trips to Goodwill on $.99 day helped me fill in most of the gaps... I'd still like a better variety of the gold/yellow... but I think I can make do with what I have if I don't find any more in the next few weeks.

 ....15.....customer tops quilted (YTD 62)
.....05.....customer quilts bound (YTD  18)
.....00.....flimsy completed waiting for quilting (YTD 13)
.....00.....quilted flimsy (YTD 11 )
.....40.....hand-work hours (146 YTD )

Lucky Charms wall hanging (1/21/13)
Basket Sampler Welcome wall hanging (2/15/13)
Knitted afghan  (3/20/13)
Scrap Mania quilt (3/19/13)
Orange/Blue Jelly Roll quilt (3/18/13)
Hope Academy Banner (3/27/13)
Jaxson's quilt (3/22/13)
Baltimore Album (4/5/13)
Civil War Snowball (4/5/13)
Big Brother Quilt (5/7/13)
Easy Street (7/22/13)
Matthew's Puppies (7/25/13)
Floribunda (9/9/13)

Projects Waiting to be Quilted
 Sloanie Christmas Star Swap

Projects in Progress 
  Spring Wall Hanging.... the flowers are now fused to the background and I have begun stitching them on
  Disappearing 4 patch...blocks are completed, ready for assembly
  Sweet & Sassy.....9 blocks completed, sashed and aquilt corner assembled
  Becky's Barn basket wall hanging...assembled, needs final border
  Novelty Quilt... blocks cut, need assembly
  Happiness Key...background complete, needs applique/embroidery
  Floral & Pinwheels.... made 4 pinwheels then renamed.... Florals&9patch
  POTC... swap blocks completed and swap will be in January
  Dresden Plate placemats
Bonnie Projects in Progress
.....06.....cheddar bowties blocks hand-pieced (YTD  6  of  81)   ...  (81 of 162 in 2012)
.....00.....cheddar bowtie rows stitched (YTD  0 .... 9 of 18 in 2012)
...done....Orca Bay Step 1 hourglass blocks made (YTD 49  plus 21 in 2012) total  70 of 112 
....done...Orca Bay Step 2  3.5in string blocks made (completed in 2012 )
....done...Orca Bay Step 3 2in HSTs (YTD 55 plus120 in 2012)  total 175
.....done..Orca Bay Step 4 5.5in string blocks (YTD 08 plus 24 of 32 in 2012) total 32
.....done..Orca Bay Step 5 cut 350 triangles and stitch to part 3 to make winged triangles (175 of 175)
.....done..Orca Bay Step 6 cut 2.5in squares and assemble Ohio Stars (0)
.....50.....Orca Bay Step 7 make flying geese (50 of 64)
...............Orca Bay Step 8  assemble quilt
..............Talkin Turkey..... 2 blocks complete plus parts
..............Midnight Flight....1 block complete plus parts
..............Winston Ways... 2 blocks complete plus parts
......16...... Celtic Solstice... Goodwill shirts deboned