Wanda Gene's Musings on Life, Love and Loving the Quilting Life!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Recovering from My Christmas Party!


Yesterday we hosted that old tradition of the big Christmas party with all the family, all the food, and all the happy holiday fun.  Jonah and Danny provided all the entertainment like Danny convincing Grandma to go on a treasure hunt in the dark with the little camp lantern that he got for Christmas.  The little boys ran around chasing each other all over the house like they always do.  The grown-ups got a chance to talk, get caught up on goings-on, and strengthened the family bond once again.  Many times the subject of Great-grandma Brown, whom we lost last month, was part of the conversation.  It was like each time we remembered her that she was still with us in spirit.  As she will always be.

My son Ed, who started computer-related business in his garage a few years ago, is so busy now with orders that he has moved into a building and has hired a few people to "stuff circuit boards".  I have a general idea what that means, but when my son starts talking about computer stuff, he might as well be an alien from a more advanced planet than my earth.  Anyway, Ed took the day off, which I know was not easy, so I am very grateful that he came for Christmas.

During the earlier part of last week I did get some work done on our  Orca Bay Mystery.  I even cheated a little bit and maybe you could too!  Take a look at this:

This is Aunt Mary pressing my triangle units for me.  She is always looking for ways to help us during her visit and she found this not-so-little task to do for me!

 I love having a quilting helper!  I'm completely spoiled and will miss her help dearly when she goes back to Texas on Wednesday!

I thought I had 350 half square triangles, but when I finished sewing the little wings on them and  Aunt Mary counted them in tens and pinned them together, I only had 306 :(  How did that happen?  Maybe the 44 will turn up in my sewing room (after the quilt is finished), but in the meantime it's back to making half square triangles and then putting wings on them.

I also made two sample Ohio Star blocks.  They are such pretty little blocks and such a classic pattern!  I think I'm partial to Ohio Stars because I was born in Ohio.

I went through my 2 1/2" squares and came up with these to make more Ohio Stars. I can't wait to find out what we are going to do with the string blocks!   Well, now Christmas is over and I can really quilt!

Bye, y'all

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Morning Mystery Update


I'm slowing down with this Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery.  Definitely.  Too much at one time is coming at me from all directions, threatening to tear me apart!  Or a least make me tear my hair out.  No, on second thought, I won't tear my hair out.  I like having hair.  A few years ago (8 years, yea!) I was totally bald for a few months so I definitely appreciate having hair.

No, I intend to slow down with everything, enjoy the Christmas holiday, make my pies on the 24th, check my gift list to make sure I'm done (there is no chance that I'm done) and think happy and calm thoughts.

I still intend to "sample" the rest of the mystery steps at least a little.  Here is what I've done with part 5:

Adding a couple of triangles to the half square units is fun and goes fast!....it's just that there are 350 of them.  Oh well, that means 350 times the fun.  You know what, I keep day-dreaming about how the different units will go together and what will be the "total impact"....that visual pop that you get when you see the whole quilt in all its bordered and completed glory.  Tra, la,la, soon Orca Bay will be here!

I would like to wish all quilters and quilt-lovers everywhere happiness and joy and family togetherness, no matter which holiday you celebrate this season.  Peace to you all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Naughty or Nice...It's All in How You Cut It!

Hey ya,

I've been sewing like blazes on these adorable red strippie triangles, and I am constantly having to "refresh" the selection with more and different prints and plaids.  I came across this cute bikini print with a pink background and started to cut it up.

I think I got this piece in a lot that I bought on E-bay.  E-bay is a great source for fabric and if you're careful you can get great prices.  I sometimes bid on mixed lots of quilting cotton, either in lengths or large remnants.   Be forewarned, sometimes you can be disappointed, because it is hard to evaluate the quality of fabric from a picture.   This came in a large piece, about 1 1/2 yards.  I used most of it on the back of a quilt that I pieced.  A couple of strips were left over.

Risque quilting fabric--its all in the cutting!

This strip really made me laugh when I actually got a good look at it.  This is a very long strip with nothing on it but bikini crotches......LOL!  There is no way that I will ever be able to use this in a quilt!  I think if I cut it narrow enough to make the bikini bottoms unrecognizable it would be too narrow to piece together!

I guess  I could cut it into pieces and use it to clean the dust off of my sewing machines!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Have Been Seeing Red...Red Everywhere!

Yes, and loving it.

Here is where I have been playing with my red strips.  I have arranged them more or less in piles of the same length so I can find the right size strip.  As I piece these, it occurred to me that the reason that this string piecing is so much fun is the choosing of the next fabric strip.  I'm always thinking, now, how would this plaid  look next to a gorgeous contemporary print or maybe a civil war repro.  Honestly, this is just play in its purest form for those of us who love our fabrics.  And prints and plaids and stripes, old or new, really fabrics of every sort just play together wonderfully well.

I'm fairly  satisfied with my progress on these red beauties.....at this rate I will finish them in 11 days.  Obviously I'm going to have some catching up to do after this mystery is finished.

Has anybody else noticed that the floor by your cutting mat and/or sewing machine is becoming littered with tiny snippets, too small to even go in the crumb bucket?  My floor is just a mess.  For the last couple of days, I have been barefoot except for some thick socks (to keep my feet warm).
The snippets stick to the bottom of my socks and wherever else I go I leave a trail of them!  When I saw it for the first time, I thought my German Shepherd dog, Ondie, had gotten into my waste basket.  When in doubt, always blame the dog, right?

I have all my Orca Bay mystery pieces in a project box.  Part 1, hourglass units, finished.  Part 2, little blue strippie squares, finished.  Part 3, half square triangles, about 2/3 finished.  Part 4, red strippie triangles, well, you saw where I am with those.

Things that will take me away from my beloved Bernina 1230 (her name is Erie Mae) in the coming weeks:

  • Christmas preparations in general.
  • I am doing Christmas dinner for a large group (I probably won't know exactly how large until they walk in the door).  Makes it hard but I am flexible.  And Christmas dinner will be a buffet instead of the sit-down dinner that I did for Thanksgiving :D
  • Shopping for gifts.
  • On a more somber note, we are having my DH's mother's funeral on the 20th (the week of Christmas).  We were fortunate to get it booked for a day that we could all come since the church is so busy with Advent activities this time of year.
  • We invited DH's Aunt Mary to come out from Canyon, Texas to attend her sister's funeral and visit with us all.  Aunt Mary is a wonderful lady and we are looking forward so much to seeing her.  She will be staying in our guest room for about ten days except for maybe a few visits to other nearby relatives.  This coming Saturday will be for picking her up at the airport.
  • I spent yesterday writing Mom's obituary (yes, I call her Mom, but sometimes Barbara).  We also chose prayers, hymns and Bible selections for her funeral.  Today we have to contact the musicians (I sure hope they are available).
  • I'm taking my mother to still more doctor appointments.....one lengthy one this afternoon.
I doubt that I'll be complaining about having nothing to do for a while.  Actually, I don't ever complain about nothing to do.  When was the last time that happened?  Not that I can remember! 

Thanks, Bonnie, for the latest mystery quilt!  Piecing on it is keeping me from going to pieces!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just a Little Progress This Week


Well, I have spent a very intensive week....not much with the mystery quilt that I have been working on, but instead finding a new group home for my mother.  She was in the original home for a little over a year, but in that time her roommate has deteriorated mentally.  The lady started talking to herself and to my mother most of the night and it was impossible for Mother to sleep.

Her doctors want her to sleep well at night so that she feels well enough in the daytime to stay active and keep moving.  So I recognized that this could lead to long-term serious consequences for Mother.

The good news is that we found a really lovely 6 resident home that is quite a bit closer to my house than where she is now.  The roommate is friendly and active and we think that she and my mother could forge a strong friendship.  She is really looking forward to moving into the new home on Tuesday.

That said, I did make **some** progress on Step 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery Quilt.

I wanted to use some new black and neutral prints, not the same ones that went into Step 1 in case they end up next to each other in the quilt.  So, I did spend my meager little amount of quilting time this week cutting strips from FGs and yardage.

Gotta love those little teapots!

I started sewing a few half squares together this morning.

Well, I have lots of catchup to do, so maybe I will cut and sew in the little bits of time that I can steal away from my other duties this week.  I really, REALLY, want to keep up with the rest of all the MANIAC quilters out there who are also following Orca Bay.

Bonnie, I am so thankful for this mystery quilt.  You are helping me stay grounded.  And I love getting to be a part of your blog links!