One UFO at a Time

A few months ago, I made of list of my UFO’s that I wanted to finish. Oh, I have more, but the list only contained the ones I wanted to complete. I must say, it’s been fun being able to cross them off the list!!! This block, and the others I am finishing, measure 10 inches square when finished. They are from a block of the month I was following last year on the Quilting Arts Forum. The BOM was for all pieced blocks, but I love applique mixed in with piecing. It seems to give it a more graceful touch (at least in my mind). One more block to finish, and then I can put the top together. I think I will hand quilt this one. It’s not a large quilt… more like a wallhanging. I miss hand quilting!
I spotted this little sweetie on Etsy this morning. Aren’t the colors yummy? It’s called “Starfish,” and is a Fine Art Print on Watercolor. The description by the creator is:” A beautiful 8″ x 10″ archival print on 10″ x 12″ Somerset Velvet watercolor paper. Fits any standard 11″ x 14″ mat and frame (not included).” You can see or buy this and many other great items at . As a quilter, I am drawn to great colors. PaperArtStudios has some of the best colors blended together I have seen in a long time. Please do check it out!!!

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Bits and Pieces of Monday

Yesterday was my birthday. Hurray for me? There comes a point when celebrating an extra year is not as exciting as it once was. The number creeps higher and higher… putting you further and further into the “OLD Zone.” My mom’s favorite expression over the past 15 some years of her life was, “Caron, don’t ever get old. It’s hell.” Well, considering the alternative, I’ll take another year.

I have a lot of people ask me how to get started setting up a blog. It’s really very simple, and there are many very informative sites that will walk you through the process. There is a great tutorial by Michael Hyatt , who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world. Click here to get to that tutorial. Feel free to email me if you have questions or need help.
I participate in the Quilting Arts Forum online. We have a lot of fabric swaps, and my favorite is the Birthday Fat Quarter swap. In this swap, you sign up for a whole year. Every month, you mail the birthday gal(s) a fat quarter of quilting fabric in their requested colors/patterns. Then, when it is YOUR birthday, you get a whole collection of the kind of fabric you wanted. This year, I chose something that would get me out of my comfort zone. I usually work in muted colors, so I wanted something bright and geometric. And Baby, did I ever get it! I wouldn’t normally choose the fabrics you see above, but WOW, I really like them! And I have some ideas already about how to put them in some quilts. I took the photo above on Sunday, when I opened all of my packages. Then yesterday, on my birthday, I got one more from Barb, who also lives in Michigan. Here’s what Barb sent, from way over in the Ludington area. Hi Barb!

Well, I’m off to work. If you are staying home today, think of me while you quilt!

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Ahhhh… it’s Saturday!

It’s a sleeting Saturday morning here in Mid-Michigan, but I don’t care. I plan on spending a good portion of the day sewing. It’s my last “free” Saturday until the beginning of April, as I have a Saturday morning class to teach for Eastern Michigan University. I love teaching – but the Saturday thing gets old quick, especially when I have a full time job during the week. But, it provides money to support my (quilt) habit, so I shouldn’t complain too much.
Last night I finished hand-piecing this block, M6, called “Simplicity.” It wasn’t all that simple, though… lots of tiny pieces to sew. Remember when you look at Dear Jane blocks that they are only 4.5 inches wide (5 inches wide before finishing).
I had worried when choosing my background fabric for this quilt that some fabrics wouldn’t show up well on it. Even though the background is tan in color, it shows up fine because of the little orange flowers that make it POP.
Why did I hand-piece this, you ask? Sometimes I like to sit and sew while I watch/listen to TV in the evening. I felt like doing that with this block, rather than sit in the basement where it is cold and be all alone.
Today I will work on more blocks… mail out a package to my Dear Jane Secret Pal, and a fat quarter to a swap participant (Hi Barb!) from the Quilting Arts Forum . Ahhh, it’s going to be a FUN day!

Playing Catch-up Today

This time last year, I signed up to participate in a “Block of the Month” challenge on the Quilting Arts Forum. Each month, QAF features a new block, and if you participate in it all year, you have 12 blocks completed in matching colors. Well, sometimes life gets in the way, as it did this year. Each month I printed out the patterns, but they became a collection of papers – with very few blocks completed. You can see by the photo below that I was ambitious the first month, making the four corner blocks all the same.

Today, I decided I wanted to skip shopping/wrapping/cleaning/decorating and all that other Christmas preparation. (Well, I DID clean the oven… using the auto clean feature!) I did three blocks today, so the photo below shows my TOTAL number of blocks completed. Pretty sad, isn’t it? Mind you, the two applique blocks are NOT a part of the challenge, but I determined last January that I wanted a mixture of pieced and applique blocks, thus the two you see here.

Here are some close-ups:

With a little more work over the weekend, I should HOPEFULLY get them all finished and save face. I’ll post again when all the blocks are completed. Crossing my fingers as I type,