Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

I missed getting my post up for the last Link-up Monday last week because of a late shopping trip.  I signed on one minute before the time ended after shopping, getting something to eat and checking into the hotel.  I guess that I should have been better prepared.  Not a very good Scout.    : ^(

Here are the pictures that I was planning on posting from my work on Orca Bay clue 5.  I discovered that if you cut your triangles with the fabric either right or left sides together and were careful  about how you placed them, you would be able to have virtually no dog ears.

Here is the layout.

   And here they are constructed with no trimming.

That's where I was when the shopping intervened.  The trip ended with a flat tire.  Thank you, thank you to Dean's Towing in Owatonna for the help!

DD#2 was here for the Christmas weekend.  We went to the Christmas eve service at out church and she and her SO made lunch on Christmas Day and then we opened presents.  It is so much fun to have someone else do the cooking for a change.   : ^)    Needless to say, not much sewing was done, with all of the eating and presents and talking and laughing going on.  DD#2 is an interior designer and we discussed some plans for the house while she was here.  We also enjoyed the new fireplace insert.  It's nice to have toasty toes!  

So, after she left to go back to her apartment, I was able to get to the sewing room and work on the Orca Bay Mystery clue 6 for a while.  

I was able to get a couple of the blocks finished, but when this happened, I knew it was time for lunch.

I also decided to sew either black or white blocks and not both at the same time.   Takes too much thinking!
I was also able to get a nap in today as well.  All in all a very good Boxing Day.

I have also been listening to Pandora radio on my Ipad while I have been sewing.  I listen to an ambient station and they have been playing a lot of songs recently that contain whale song.  How strange is that?   I like the background noise, but if it is a song with words, I find myself paying too much attention to the music and not enough to the sewing.

I hope that everyone has been enjoying the Mystery Link-up Mondays, I know that I have.  It's great fun to see all of the quilts in all of the colors and to read everyone's blog and comments.  See everyone next Monday.  Have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday progress report

The concert on Saturday was great fun. The Golden Valley (MN) Orchestra and Chorus Polaris had a Christmas concert at the Gesthemane Episcopal Church in downtown Minneapolis. Both organizations did a fine job for the concert. There was a reception after the concert where we had a change to visit with the performers. It was great fun watching DD1 sing again. All in all, a fine holiday evening.

My son's birthday was the previous week and he received the game Pandemic from his wife. We played it several times over the weekend. It is a cooperative game, so you work together to save the world or you all go down together! I highly recommend it, I found it to be great fun. It is really different to be playing as a team rather than against the other players.

I came back home on Sunday and worked on the Orca Bay mystery quilt. I was able to complete the black and white HSTs from the third clue.

I then started on the blue string blocks from the second clue and have them completed as well.

 There are only 31 more of the QSTs to finish and I should be able to do that this evening.

Sounds like I'm doing the mystery backwards.  I do have a few of the red string triangles finished.

Here are the clues that I have completed resting in their storage box.

I won't be able to start on Friday's clue right away as I have 2 meetings to attend on Friday. The first one starts at 7 AM and I probably won't be home until the afternoon.

The early meeting is our county Board of Health, of which I am the Chairperson. Our meeting is being attended by the Director of the State Board of Health. I don't think that has ever happened as far as I know. Our board has been working hard over the past several years to turn around a complicated situation, so I hope that the state has taken notice of the hard work that our staff and the board have been doing.

I am hoping to get some cleaning and decorating done this weekend. I should also try to get my shopping completed and will try to keep up with the sewing for the mystery as well. I really don't have anything to do, do I? Well, just need to take it one bite at a time!

Right now it's time to quit and get some Chocolate!  Happy sewing everyone and here's to Friday's clue.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A productive Friday

Friday was a day off for me, so I was able to get to the sewing room as soon as I received the 4th clue for Orca Bay.  I am getting better at just grabbing a handful of red strings from the box and using them until they are all gone and then going back to the box for more.  I am able to cut 5 of the blocks from the tissue that I am using for my foundation, so I am working on 5 blocks at a time.  I must say that the first time I read the clue, just after I got out of bed, I misread the size of the block.  I looked at Bonnie's pictures and wonders how in the world she was getting so many strings on a 3.5 inch block!  (Duh, it's a 5.5 inch block)

Here are my first attempts.  I did have some coffee before I made these, needed to be awake, especially after that reading mistake!

First 2 blocks , sewn and pressed

Now trimmed.

Now triangles.  Note how the little white selvage in the previous picture is now gone.

I made the two blocks the first time and then started making 5 at a time.  I have to stop and trim down some of the strings because they are too wide and I want more variety.  
I also moved to using spray starch.  I normally use the Mary Ellen's Best Press, but I didn't think that I had enough stability as the regular starch.  I have made 12 blocks without much of a dent in the box or red strings.

I also made about 100 more of the QSTs from the first clue.

I am off tonight to attend a concert where my DD1 is performing.  She sings in the Chorus Polaris in Minneapolis and they are having a Christmas concert with the Golden Valley Orchestra.  I will be going with my DS and his wife.  Should be fun.  We are planning to go out after the concert.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orca Bay Part 3

I have not had as much time as I would like to get my quilting done.  I did get some time over the weekend to work the Orca Bay mystery.  I am working on all three of the steps at the same time, if I get bored with doing one type of square I just move to another.  I have been re-cutting some of my strings for the part 2 blocks.  They are going kind of slow, I think that I am trying to over think the color placement.  I have a problem with the idea of just grabbing a piece of fabric and sewing it down.  Need to get over that!

I have enjoyed looking at every one's blog posts and admiring all of the blocks.  It is almost like a world wide retreat, where you can look over your fellow quilter's shoulder and see what they are making. 


Here is where I am at so far.   Every block stacked in piles of 10.  I will have some more time this evening to get some quilting done, so here I come black and neutrals and blue strings.  Be prepared to be part of my new project.  Can't wait to see tomorrow's clue.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Quilt finally sees the light of day

Several years ago a purchased a Block of the Month kit at Joann's for a Christmas quilt.  I was able to find enough of the kit to finish the quilt.  Unfortunately, I wasn't paying enough attention to the borders and they were kind of wavy.  Luckily, my quilter, Sandi Stark of the Quilting Shed in Mason City, Iowa, is a magician and was able to quilt the top and hide all of my mistakes.  I discovered the pleats when I was putting the binding on the quilt.  The top was stored for several years.

I pulled the quilt out to take to Show and Tell for guild meeting on Thursday.  We all make mistakes, the main thing is to learn from them and attempt to avoid them again.  You can bet I really watch my borders now and they aren't wavy any more.  Sandi did such a nice job on the quilt that it should be displayed, so on the guest bed it goes.  It is a little too small for a double bed but looks OK for the Christmas season.

Doesn't that look festive.

This picture shows some of the custom quilting by Sandi.

This may be as much decorating as gets done around here this season.  I am in the process of doing some redecorating and things will be in turmoil with new carpeting coming.

I will try to get some pictures of the Orca Bay mystery that I have been working on all weekend on the blog within the next couple of days. 

Quilt Guild Christmas

My quilt guild, Lake Area Quilt Guild, had their Christmas party and potluck last Thursday.  I, myself, am not much of a cook, but some of the folks in the guild are!  The picture below shows the spread that we had to choose from for our meal.

We played Left, Right and Center for 10 squares.  Needless to say, I did not win.  One of the members won the door prize, fat quarters for the 'block' exchange and a prize for the stocking challenge, as well as one game.  (We played two)  We all advised her to get a lottery ticket right away!  She certainly had good luck that evening.