Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 NewFO Challenge

It's the last day of January.  Time to take inventory of projects that I began this month and to make plans for February.  Barbara at Cat Patches has invited quilters to start one new thing every month as part of NewFO Challenge 2012.  Luckily, the challenge is to only to start new things, but you're not required to finish them.
This month, I started 3 new quilts and worked on  2 UFOs from 2011.

I enjoyed making the quilt for Marcia's Scrappy Quilt Challenge so much that I made a second quilt from the same tutorial.  Once again, no yardage was cut for this quilt top.  All of the fabric was from my scrap box.  The other 2 quilt tops I made are shown below.

I also worked on blocks that I originally made for the Charity Quilt Smackdown on Debra's blog back in August.  The star pattern used was scrappier than I am used to so I decided to make my blocks more uniform.  I put them away because I didn't really like some of the fabric combinations I used.  Debra said to sew them up into a top and send them down to Texas.  She will quilt it on her long arm and give it to a local veteran's group.  I'm sure her expert quilting will perk them up a bit.

I've also been putting together blocks I started back in August that were designed by Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts.  She used a jelly roll.  My version uses strips from my scrap bin with a polka dot print. I should be able to finish putting the top together tomorrow.
Luckily, this picture was taken before all of the blocks were sewn together because a few are facing the wrong way.
I am linking up to the 2012 NewFO Challenge at Cat Patches' blog.  Stop over and see what other bloggers have started this month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting Scrappy Quilt Challenge

You may remember that I wrote about Marcia's Scrappy Quilt Challenge on January 6th.  I showed you the scraps I planned to use.

Now it is time to see the finished top.
I love it.  My daughter said, "That's a great quilt!  Some little child is going to love that."  Two minutes later she burst my bubble saying, "Do you realize that none of those blocks are the same?"  I tried explaining about using the pattern from the Scrappy Challenge, but she wasn't buying it.  She decided that she prefers quilts that use the same blocks throughout.  Boring!
I didn't cut into any yardage for this quilt.  The strips for the borders were cut for another quilt and misplaced.  There they were waiting in the fabric closet.  At 33 x 41, this will be a good donation quilt for a small child.  Thanks Marcia.  Whether I win the long arm quilting or not, this was a fun quilt to make.  I've already cut some focus fabric to make another one.

Somebody's Got to Win This. Why Not Me or You?

I was visiting a blog this morning and noticed something interesting on the side bar.  The Quilter's Club of America Fabric for Life Sweepstakes is offering 50 prizes.  I think one of them should go to me.  If not me, than one of my web friends.  Let's face it.  It's a clever way to add thousands of quilters to their mailing list, but suppose one of us wonderful quilters wins.  I was sucked into the Greedy Zone and entered.  If I win, I promise I'll share.

Monday, January 16, 2012

On My Weigh with Annie

Annie of  Annie's Ruby Slipperz has started a program to encourage everyone to get healthy in the New Year.  Annie's posting some great tips on nutrition and ways to keep yourself motivated.  There will be an opportunity to check in and report how you are doing every Saturday.  I don't know about anyone else, but being part of a group helps to keep me honest and motivated about my goals.
Annie is so nice.  I wanted to post her button for the On My Weigh project here on my blog, but I didn't see any html code.  I left a comment asking for help and within a few minutes she got back to me and offered her help.  Of course, it was right there staring me in the face.  I think the fat cells are affecting my thinking.  I really need to join On My Weigh

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More to do in 2012

Sorry this is text heavy.  There are pictures at the end.

In 2011, I actually managed to finish some UFOs that were languishing in my sewing closet for years.  This was due in no small part to the UFO Challenge held on the off shoot of my favorite online quilting group.  CQ-4-CBee is a subgroup of Cyber Quilters set up for special projects and challenges.  I only finished 3 of the 9 quilts I posted in the beginning of the challenge.  I also gave away one of the tops I listed and took apart a top that wasn't working the way I planned.  That left me with 4 of the listed UFOs on my challenge list.  I also participated in the 100 Quilts for Kids Challenge and the Hands 2 Help Challenge.

I've learned that having a goal with an end date really kept me focused and I was able to bust lots of stash and finish a few more UFOs.  For 2012, in addition to the 3 challenges I posted about yesterday, I have joined a few more to keep me on target.  Although most of these Quilt-Alongs and Challenges have end dates, there is no pressure involved.  If I am unable or unwilling to continue, it is not a problem for me or other participants.

I plan on participating in 3 monthly challenges:

The 2012 NewFO Challenge at Cat Patches  invites participants to start 1 new project per month.  The term NewFO was  coined in response to the UFOs all of us claim to be working on.  It encourages everyone to start something new without feeling guilty about finishing.  I definitely like that.

The Monthly Make It Group 2012 hosted by the Felt Fairy  is committed to making at least 1 new item every month.  The item does not have to be quilty to participate.

In addition to these challenges, I also plan on an additional scrap challenge.  The Scrap Attack  over at Stitched in Color encourages quilters to finish a quilt made mostly from scraps by the end of March.

I will also be trying to complete One Crazy Quilt Block per month.  The finished block will be at least 6 inches.

The last challenge I plan on taking part in is the Building Houses from Scraps project.  This group is making one tiny house from scraps each day.  At the end of the year, each quilter should have 365 tiny house blocks plus a larger house block for the center of the finished quilt.  I absolutely love this idea, but have not completed a block yet.  The blocks finish at 3 inches and I am really struggling with the size.  I cannot keep the seams straight and the blocks will not lie flat.   I will either have to enlarge the block or expend my energies elsewhere.  I am pretty much resigned to the fact that tiny is not my thing.

When I first read through the list of  groups I have signed up with, I felt it might be overwhelming.  After examining my goals for next year, I realized that  challenges are a good fit with my goals and that many of them overlap.  For me, that is an excellent reinforcement.

I worked on a new Disappearing 9 Patch quilt yesterday made from 5 inch floral charms that have been sitting in my closet for years.  The floral charms as well as the tone on tone solids were cut from scraps.     This quilt is designated for the local women's shelter.

The buttons for all of these groups (with the exception of the Crazy Quilt Blocks which is no longer accepting members) are on the sidebar.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fabulous Temptations for the New Year

There are so many fabulous things happening on quilting blogs right now it's hard to choose which ones to participate in.  There aren't enough hours in the day for me to try all of them so I've narrowed it down to a few I can't resist.   

When Mary of the Curious Quilter announced her 2012 Postage Stamp Quilt Challenge and Swap, I knew it had to be on my "Must Do" list.  Mary has plans for monthly posts, swaps, giveaways and a year-long Postage Stamp Quilt challenge.  Click the button on my side bar for all the juicy details.

Marcia over at  Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting is having a Scrappy Quilt Challenge.  She is offering free quilting to one lucky quilter who finishes a top using her scrappy tutorial.  I started mine today.  Pictures of  the fabrics  I 'm using  are  below .    The top needs to be completed by January 17th.  You can get further details by clicking her button over on my side bar.

Over at Pleasant Home there is a  month long Scrap Along.   There will be:  articles on scrap organization,  ideas for scrappy quilts, tutorials, scrappy tutorials, and even a Scrappy Board on Pinterest.  There's lots more info to see.  That button is also on my side bar.

There are a few more that I will be participating in .  I will post about them tomorrow .