snug

snug

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017!

    Thank you notes have been written, laundry is being done, a hearty lentil soup is in the crock pot, and the Bills game is soon to begin.  We are looking forward to a quiet evening  by the fireplace on this chilly night to ring in 2018. 
Back yard view - notice coyote tracks on the snow and ice!  Photo by Steve McCabe 2017.  
     Tomorrow, with the start of the new year, I plan to begin getting my sewing space set up.   If I can even get the sewing machine moved, I can then get cracking on the 'On Ringo Lake' clues that have been piling up daily!  
      Best wishes to all visiting this site for a healthy and happy and peaceful 2018! 

Take care,
Gretchen 

And this concludes the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge!  29 of 31 days done!  Whew!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 30 of the 31 Day Challenge

     A quiet Saturday - the kids are safely back to their homes, and the clean up begins.  One more party tonight with good friends, and then on to the New Year.  In the meantime, I am enjoying the white lilies which just opened, and the white ice forming on Lake Erie.  

Stay warm and take care,
Gretchen

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 plans

   I could come up with a list as long as my arm of projects I would like to work on and finish in 2018.   Instead, I decided to identify 6 projects to complete in 2018.  That should leave lots of room for other projects as well. 

1.  Sewing room 

     My first project is a long standing one.  I want to rearrange my daughter's bedroom into a sewing space (which will have some sleeping space, too!)  She hasn't actually lived here in 10 years!  My Tiara and my ironing board and my fabric are in the basement.  My Bernina is in the living room.  My cutting table (which I also use to pin my quilt sandwiches) travels up and down the stairs.  I'd love to have everything in one space, which would then also allow me to keep projects out, rather than packing them up every time we have company!  The kids did a nice job this Christmas in boxing up old stuff, so this will be a project tackled first!

2.  Magnolia Mystery Quilt

      I have finished the top, and have some thoughts for the quilting.  I'd like to get the piece quilted and bound before the February deadline.
3.   The Civil War Reproduction Spider Web quilt.  

     This has been a project for years.  I made good headway during my quilt retreat in November, and am now using this as my leader/ender project with my Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.  I can certainly finish the blocks up - what may take time is the quilting.  I have in my head that I might hand quilt this.  We'll see! 

  4.  On Ringo Lake
     
        Clue #6 dropped today - I will have a chance to catch up over the next few weeks.  I'd like to keep the momentum going on this, and get it finished up before next year's quilt.  I am really enjoying how much I am learning, and how much my skills are improving with this project. 

 5.  New York Beauty wall hanging

     I was getting the quilting on this done pretty well.  This is a very densely quilted piece.  And then, it came off the Tiara for something else, and hasn't been back.  My goal is to finish this, and hang it in my sewing space.


The back

6.   Quilt Designing
     
     After getting the Candy Box block published last year, I haven't been as diligent about keeping up with the quilt designing as I would like.   My goal is to work on a few more (two?) and then figure out the best way to get them out there.    

I am relieved that I am nearly done with the 31 day blogging challenge!  Two more days, whew! 
Thanks for visiting! 
Enjoy the rest of 2017!
Take care,
Gretchen 


Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Quilts and other finishes


Modern Mini Challenge - Stepping Stones
Hadley's Queen of the Sea 

Seren's Bright & Sunny Quilt 
Over the Rainbow, Baby! 

Eye Candy

Uphill Climb
Pippa's Union Jack
Dave's T-shirt Quilt
Ariana's Snowball
Bed Skirt from Canvas Drop Cloth
Hexie Pillow
Fabric  Bowls
More Fabric Bowls


  I am a bit surprised that I didn't finish more quilts during my first full year of retirement.  I have many projects in the works, but I generally only count a quilt as finished when it is quilted, bound, and washed up to be nice and crinkly!    Thanks for visiting my blog!

Take care,
Gretchen 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best of 2017 - Cheryl's linky party

     Cheryl, at Meadow Mist Designs, is hosting a "Best of 2017" linky party, here, to share 5 favorite blog posts from the year.     Here are mine, which have been chosen for all sorts of reasons:
     1.   My quilt retreat post, November 17, 2017 (link here).  A first for me, this was so much fun, and so very productive!
 
     2.  Snowball Quilt post, September 14, 2017 (link here).  I try to share techniques and challenges, and boy, was I challenged during the quilting of this baby quilt!

     3.  Union Jack baby quilt post, June 24, 2017 (link here).   This quilt was the most challenging baby quilt I have made to date.   I loved how it turned out!  
  
     4.   Eye Candy Quilt post, May 2, 2017( link here).  I made up this quilt from the block I designed for the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks publication.  I loved working with the solids, and this quilt makes me happy every time I look at it!
 
     5.  New York Beauty, Block #5 post, April 14, 2017 ( link here).  This is bittersweet.  I blogged  many times in 2017 about my progress on this piece, and it is still underway.  But this post was one of the last that featured our beloved cat, Chester, who "helped" me with many quilts.   This summer, we had to say goodbye after 17 years. We miss him still!

    This was a fun way for me to revisit my year of blog posts.  My yearly recap of quilts, and my list of things I hope to accomplish in 2018 will be coming later this week, as I try to successfully finish out the 31 day blogging challenge!
     As always, thank you so much for visiting!
Take care,
Gretchen

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Clue #5

      I haven't finished Clues #3 or #4 yet, but skipped ahead to cutting the pieces for Clue #5.   I was able to get these cut while waiting for my son to arrive home on Christmas.  Since this is my first Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, I am not sure how concerned I should be that I am nearly at the end of my neutral fat quarters!   I have been trying to calculate the right amount of cutting to make the variety of the fabrics consistent, but if there are many more pieces (or large pieces) on the horizon, I am going to have a bit of a problem.  Well, we'll see where the mystery goes!

      In the meantime, I am keeping pieces for clues separated in bins, or else who knows what will happen!
Clue #4 (partial pieces) and Clue #5 pieces.     
     I had a wonderful Christmas with my little family yesterday.  I enjoy the coziness and cherish the time together.   Today starts a round of large family parties.  Mom, sisters, brother in laws, nieces, nephew, cousins, aunts, and assorted others.  Always fun!  In the meantime, I am linking up with Mystery Quilt weekly link up, here

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 24- A little bit at a time!

      It looks like we'll have a White Christmas after all!  Yesterday was a busy day, getting set for hosting a family dinner tonight.  I love setting a holiday table!



     I also managed, at the end of the evening, to get the black pieces cut for the Clue #5 of  'On Ringo Lake.'  I only have 7 black fabrics to work with, so this actually goes faster than trying to cut pieces from 25 + fabrics in the other colors.  I need to work up some samples before I cut the black pieces for Clue #4, and I won't get to that until after Christmas.  
Merry Christmas, all!
Take care,
Gretchen 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 23 - Back to 'Ringo Lake'

      So, Clue #5 for Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt Along was posted yesterday.   Not surprisingly, I am a bit behind.  I do have Clue #1 all done; Clue #2 is all sewn, but not yet trimmed and pressed. 
       
     Clue #3 pieces are all cut, and a few samples have been sewn.  
       Today, I got up early to cut the red pieces for Clue #4.  I still have the black pieces to cut, but there are several options, and I am going to do some sample pieces before I cut all of the pieces. 


A little at a time will get the quilt done!

Take care,
Gretchen 




Friday, December 22, 2017

31 Day Writing Challenge, Day 22

     What do you do when time is running short during the busy holiday season?  Put your mother to work making a ball of fabric 'yarn'!

 Take care,
Gretchen 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Selvedges


           Last year, using an idea from CrazyMomQuilts, I knitted up selvedges and long scraps into squares, which I then made into pillow covers.  The knitting part was fine (although not easy), but trying to sew these lumpy bits onto fabric was nearly impossible.  Numerous needles were killed in the process.
          Since then, I have refilled my selvedge basket.  Earlier this year, I sewed together enough for three big balls of  fabric "yarn."  My intention was to knit a little throw rug for my daughter's new apartment. 
           She was home a few weeks ago, and needed a project to keep her hands busy.  I gave her the needles and fabric and had her get going.  It was a little embarrassing to admit that she was working on her own present! 
      She made some progress, and I have done a few rows since.
My basket was again full, and so I am in the process of making another ball.  I don't know if the rug will be done by the end of the Christmas holiday, but certainly, progress will be made! 
                  To made the "yarn", I just zig zag ends together, and have not particular order. and cut the stitching when I am done.
         The zig zagging is a pretty mindless task, and ends up with this wild looking waterfall of fabric. 
          As soon as I finish sewing all the strips together, I'll ball them up, and keep going on the rug project.   

Take care,
Gretchen 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

31 Day Challenge - Harder than Expected!

          I missed another day of posting yesterday, even though I had finished the microwave bowl cozies!   Actually remembering to photograph and post about things daily is harder than I thought, especially during the holiday season. 
        The cozies turned out okay.  Mine seem a bit looser than others I have seen on the web.  But I know they work well, and these are a fun holiday print.
     After I had finished the sewing in the morning, I went to see the film 'Marshall'.  It was a thoughtful, moving, and enjoyable film.  Much of the filming was done in Buffalo, New York, and I got caught up with nostalgia in the courtroom scenes because I tried cases, and spent considerable time, in that beautiful courtroom myself.      
       The day was filled with the sewing, the movie, and then a party - and somehow, I forgot about writing a post for my blog!  Today's post is done, and we'll see how the rest of the month goes!

Take care,
Gretchen