Balance takes practice.

Sometimes it gets difficult to balance all the things that are important to me.  I just love too many things in life and sometimes I get myself overloaded trying to balance it all.  That’s when I have to start prioritizing what’s really important to me.

First and foremost is my faith and my relationship with God.  Everything after that is a juggling act.  My passion for quilting sometimes clouds the rest of the priorities.  I totally get lost in my sewing room and could possibly not surface for days.  But then work would frown on that, my friends would worry about me and eventually, I would get hungry.  So, there you go, I have to create a balance where I am happy in the zone, have time for church, job and friends.  I’m getting better at it.  I’m not a total recluse anymore, just a partial one.  But it does take practice.  Just like it takes practice to achieve skills for applique, paper piecing, machine piecing, hand quilting, machine quilting.    I hear often from non quilty folk , ” Oh I could never do that”.  The answer is yes, you can.

This month’s to do list is almost complete.  Feeling pretty good about it.  I’m still working on prepping Month 3 of the Bed & Roses BOM.   I prep it at home, but can only hand sew on it away from home like lunch time at work, or while waiting for  my car to be serviced, sitting at Dr’s office. you get the idea, anyplace but at home.  At home has it own projects thus the balancing act.    At the rate I’m going, the hand sewing may take me 2 years.  😦  That’s okay, it just means that all the other projects I have going on will get completed and not become UFO’s.

I’m working on Month 8 BOM of Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.  I have completed the blocks below and have yet to finish 4 paper pieced pineapple blocks that measure 5″.  Yeah, really tiny.  I’m trying to be creative and make it my own.  I’m thinking where the 4 squares some together I would like those spokes of the pineapple block to be blues.  I still haven’t decided what the center square should be.  The rest of the block will be scrappy.

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Of course no project is complete without the QA approving it.  Here is the QA supervisor Tink telling me I have spent way too much time prepping the A Boy and A Girl top border.  Breaktime….. well Tink time.  🙂

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I have also been prepping Month 3 of Bed of Roses by Sue Garman I have been working on this for 2 weekends in a row.   Just the other half of the set in triangle to prep and I’m done til next month.  I did something different this time.  I made mirror photocopies of the pieces and cut them out and pasted them to an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and marked them left/right.  I then photocopied them onto 8.5 x11 freezer paper sheets.  Then I used regular freezer paper and ironed them together doubling up to strengthen the paper.  I only had to cut them out and iron them to the wrong side of the fabric and start prepping.  Since I have 8 blocks of these to complete it will save me quite a bit of time tracing each piece every month.  I would like to take credit for this idea, but I can’t.  I read about it somewhere and thought, that’s a great idea, I’m going to have to try it.  Well I did and it’s still a great idea.  And I have to admit, a better finished product than my hand tracing.  The pieces once prepped actually fit into the blue traced lines.  Imagine that.  They didn’t always before, just sometimes.

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I have my Saturday sampler blocks all made.  November 3, is our last meeting for this year.  So it will be crunch time and I  will have to squeeze in finishing that quilt top.  No new UFO’s.   Silly me, I signed up for both options this year.   So that means I have 2 quilt tops to finish before January.  I WILL NOT do that again.   Just signing up for one for next year.  I promise.

Back to prepping the other half of the block.  Then onto the tiny pineapple blocks.

Happy Stitches Everyone

Sissy Malone

 

 

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A Boy & A Girl work continues.

Progress is being made on A Boy & A Girl.  My goal is to have the top completed by January 2018.  My deadline to complete this section of the border is October 1st.  I think I can make it.    I worked all day yesterday marking my background fabric and making my freezer paper templates.   I call that part going back to kindergarten.  Your basic cut and paste.  I’m always amazed just how much time that part takes.  It is still relaxing to me.  Now I have to admit, I was up and down doing laundry, grilling chicken, you know the usual Saturday chores.  I cannot sit still for those long periods without getting stiff so I’m up and down constantly.  Besides, it also includes let the kitty in let the kitty out and my doggies as well.  All of us who are owned by our furry friends spend quite a bit of time being a doorman.

After my doorman requirements are completed,  I get back to my project where I divide my work time into sections.  For instance, in the photo below the vine has circles at certain points.  I work from circle to circle and then take a break.  It takes about 2.5 – 3 hrs to complete each section which includes the mini breaks and interruptions from the kitties.   I think the most time consuming part is fabric selection and color placement.  Believe it or not, quite a bit of consideration is given to the fabric selection.  It appears to be just willy nilly but that is not the case.    I actually painstakingly choose these crazy combinations.

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Back to my project now, I would like to get the next section’s fabric selections made before heading to church.

Everyone have a wonderful day and may it be blessed.

Sissy Malone


Another UFO down

checkmarkone more UFO done.  🙂  Lists work!  If it’s on the list, it gets done.  I know I’m a geek but it works for me.

This was a BOM that I purchased around 2001/2002.  It’s a Marti Mitchell design.  This photo is terrible.  It is mostly yellow and green with a little blue and dark magenta thrown in for balance.  The kit did not include the binding.    I will be taking a swatch of the outside border with me to the quilt shop to see if I can find something to match it and look for considerations for backings.   There was no room for error in this BOM.   You got exactly the amount of fabric that you needed, no more, no less.   Personally, I need that fudge factor.  I am an early morning sewing room person and sometimes my coffee has not finished filling my veins with go juice when (silly me) attempts cutting.   So, I admit, I do from time to time make colossal cutting mistakes.   After I had completed the first month I noticed right away there was NO extra fabric.  Sometimes that jinxes me.  But I made it through this one only by being very careful with my cutting.   Now the search is on for backing fabric and binding fabric.  Then off to Vicky  it goes for quilting.   Can’t decide who is going to be getting this one.  005

I have now chosen the next UFO to tackle.   It is called Cat Nap and it is a pattern that was published in Quiltmaker Magazine May/June ’02 issue.  It’s a baby quilt and hopefully won’t take too long to finish.  This one I will quilt myself.

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Now that my September list is all caught up I am ready to start on one of the borders for my A Boy and A Girl Quilt.  I think I will work on the right hand side. I have given myself 2 weeks to get it prepped.  Woohooo.  No pressure.

I have been staying on top of Jen Kingwell’s Long Time Gone and have completed all 7 months of that BOM.  Anxiously awaiting # 8.

I have prepped months 1 & 2 of Sue Garman’s Bed of Roses.  I work on the hand applique on my lunch time so maybe this one will be completed in a year.   It is nicely portable.  Just one block already prepped and matching thread doesn’t take up much room in the tote.

I have discovered 60 weight cotton embroidery thread.  It is as nice as silk thread to work with and slides through the fabric like butter.  And to top it off it blends in beautifully and becomes invisible.  Now it doesn’t get any better than that.

I have just received Month 3 but it is not on the calendar to prep until October.   Besides, I am still doing the handwork on Month 1.  Wouldn’t dream of getting ahead of myself.

Happy Stitches Everyone

Sissy Malone

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I love it when an idea works!

Work continues on my UFO projects.  I have now completed 7 of 8 BOM segments of the yellow and green Marti Mitchell quilt..  It is due to be finished in September.  Wooohooooo.  And another one will bite the dust.   The sad thing is I bought 2 of those back in the day when I had a different house and had planned on putting them on guest beds side by side in the basement.  No longer have that house and no basement.  Oh well.  Moving on.

I have a friend who was adopted by a doxie.  She saw a quilt posted on Facebook of a doxie and wanted it.  She purchased the pattern and I volunteered to make it for her.  I had a vision in my head of how the expand the wallhanging into a throw size quilt.  I used my scraps from my A Boy and Girl quilt and then purchased three jelly rolla of Kaffe Fassett.  I decided on a rail fence design to surround the applique.  I had only pictured it in my head and was hopeful that once executed it would look like what I had envisioned.  I am pleased to announce I am NOT disappointed with the end result.  It is just as I hoped it would look.   I finished the top today and here it is:

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Now to quilt it.   I hope she likes it.  I had been showing her progress reports but now (I hope she doesn’t follow my blog) I am going to wait until it’s finished for a full reveal.

I have also completed Sections 1, 2 & 3 of Jen Kingwell’s Long Time Gone.  This is so much fun to work on.

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I am also a glutton for punishment.  I signed up for Kerry’s (Simple Bird Applique)  BOM of Sue Garman’s Bed of Roses.  I didn’t sign up 2 years ago, I had way too many projects going at that time.  Well, nothing has changed, I still have too many projects going, but I succumbed and signed up.  I am NOT sorry.  I negotiated with my self in order to squeeze it in, I can only work on it during my lunch hour at work.  Well, that didn’t last long….. LOL..  Here is month 1 prepped.  Have month 2 and Month 3 is about to be sent in the mail.  Gotta get cracking.  On the corner blocks I opted for regular applique instead of reverse as I liked the 3 D look of the layering on top.  I have done reverse many times but for some reason I liked placing the yellow on top.

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Now that’s a lot of tiny circles.  I did get those done on my lunch hour.

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Fall will be here soon and I will need to bring the house plants back inside.  I needed to re-pot my Shamrocks.  I wanted them to have settled into their new pot before I bring them back in.  They seem happy with the roomier space and I have to admit I much prefer a clay pot to plastic.

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Now that I am caught back up with projects.  I will return to the border work for A Boy and A Girl.  I have the left border prepped.  I will start on the top one next.  I think I’ll work clockwise.  I am so predictable .   That’s okay, I am making progress.  My goal is to have it completed by January.  Fingers crossed.

Happy Sewing Everyone

Sissy Malone

 

 

 

 


I’m Back….

I have written many blog posts in my head that never made it to the computer.   I can’t believe I haven’t  posted since April.  In any event, I have been busy working on several projects quilting and otherwise.  UFO work continues and I am pleased that I can scratch another one off the list.   I finished it this morning but when I hung it to photograph, I noticed an “OOPS”.  Well that won’t do.  so I ripped it apart, and laid it aside as I was to meet a friend in town today to check out our new quilt shop in Lebanon MO.  We got side tracked and wound up in Lake Ozark, MO hunting quilt shops for Row by Row.  It was fun and a nice adventure.

Back to my UFO.  This is a Drunkards Path quilt I started in the late 70’s and was my traveling quilt and it is mostly hand pieced.   Each 31/2 ” square is hand pieced because of the arc.  I was always horrible at setting in sleeves and would only get frustrated if I tried to machine piece all those curves.   I would put pieces in a plastic baggy whenever I had somewhere I was going and hand piece.  That was before you couldn’t take scissors on the plane any longer.  This quilt has been to Canada camping at least 10 times, California, Nevada, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Washington state and Washington DC and I think I even took it to Mexico with us.   I’m not sure what size I was going to make, probably 120 x 120 king size, but I have now decided 96 x 96 will be just fine.   Here is my photo and the oops which has now been corrected.  I find there’s just something very appealing about a two color quilt.

008005 I think I’ll just use a plain muslin backing for it.  I’ll order that and then Vickie, my awesome quilter will get to add her charm to it to make it even more lovely.

Let’s see what else have I been up to.

A Boy and a Girl – I have finished the 9 blocks.  Took me 10 months.  Now on to the borders.
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Woodland baby quilt gifted.

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UFO – Yellow & Green Quilt.  I have now completed 6 of the 8 BOM for this quilt the finish is within sight.

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Adopted 2 more rescues – they are Scooter and Penny Penny.  The did not know each other prior to coming to my house but instantly loved each other and have an special relationship.

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I got a new recliner and Scooter claimed it his.

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And he has finally found my sewing room.

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I ripped out the white wire covered shelves in my pantry closet and installed new shelves that I built my self with the help of my brother.

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Made a mermaid baby quilt that was gifted.

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Another rescue I have, Gibbs, is obsessed with the fridge.

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A local teacher for challenged children was retiring and I was asked to create a quilt that would be gifted to her.  This is what I put together.

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I finally built out my window sill and added trim to my dining area window.  To be honest if it wasn’t for you tube I would never have attempted it.  But let me tell you being a quilter sure helped me with the 45 degree angles.  I also installed my new chandelier.

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Now I am working on another quilt for a friend.  I am calling it the Molly quilt because her Doxie’s name is Molly.  These are made from scraps from A Boy and A Girl.

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I am also working on Jen Kingwell’s Long Time Gone a BOM, and yes I finally signed up for Simple Bird’s BOM for her version that is pink and green of Sue Garman’s Bed of Roses.   I also have purchased the background fabric and for Friends of Baltimore.  I am not allowing myself to start Friends until I have finished A Boy and A Girl.  Discipline…… I am keeping a list with projections of what I would like to accomplish each month.  This keeps me on track to getting those UFO’s finished.  It’s interesting that patterns and fabrics I so loved all those years ago have lost their appeal.  So let that be a lesson to me.  Finish them when I purchase them and not put them away.  I’m working on this new philosophy. I’ll let you know if it works for me.

I still here plugging along….

Happy Summer everyone.

Sissy Malone


UFO Journey includes Making New Friends…

I have been diligently working on my Lists.  UFO being one and just my Monthly “To Do” list.  It’s April and I just finished January’s To Do List.  It’s progress.  I had quite a bit on January’s list, in my defense.  But it is now check marked and I have moved on to February.  To my surprise I have already completed a couple a things on that list and it’s not as lengthy as January’s.  I might just get caught up.  Wait, no I won’t.  I have started several new BOM’s to add to my Monthly To Do Lists.  But you know it’s okay.  I’m having the time of my life.  I am learning new techniques and making new friends.  We can all welcome new friends.  Each new person in my life just adds more perspective to me.  Enjoying my life!

Here is what is currently under my needle.

Block # 7 of A Boy and A Girl – prepped and ready to hand applique.

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Working on prepping Block # 8 of a Boy & a Girl –

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I did get 5 circles completed this a.m. before heading to work. I have about 12 more to make.

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Now my new BOM’s.  I signed up for Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.  She is an awesome designer from Australia.  Check her out.  i have completed Month 1 and have just received Month 2.  I haven’t started it yet.  Month one is half square triangles and 60 degree angle blocks.  Here are my blocks

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My half square blocks are consistently square.  I am very impressed.  I tried this new Block Loc  ruler for my half square blocks.  I’m sold on the technique.  If you have not tried it watch a you tube video on it or have you local quilt shop demonstrate it.    My grid above is 7 x5 –  2.5 ” squares.  Notice that it is actually a rectangle. Usually mine are wavy. Yes, I will be using this ruler again.  They also have a flying geese one and are developing a pineapple block ruler.  Now, that I want to see.  I can only paper piece pineapple blocks.  Learning new tricks.

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My Kaffe Fassett scraps.  Having FUN!

Happy Stitches

Sissy Malone

 

 


In a Snap….. Not So Much.

UFO work continues.  Believe it or not I am still working on January’s to do list.  Arghhhh.  I just can’t seem to put a realistic time from  on my hand applique work.  I always seem to underestimate just how long it will take.   That in its self is a work in progress.  So to see what I did get accomplished I did finish piecing the 2016 Saturday Sampler quilt top and got it delivered to Vickie for quilting.   Big round of applause and I take my bow.  That also took more time than I had anticipated.  Those pesky log cabin blocks were a challenge and approached differently than I had previously made them.  P.S.  I like my way better.  But at least I tried something new and different.   005

The cute woodland baby quilt got finished and I delivered it.

I finished block 6 of the Boy  & Girl quilt

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I am now no longer procrastinating on the yellow and green quilt.  I am actually working on month 5.  I thought once I got the set in y seam sections added it would be a breeze.  Not so much.  I forgot I had to make the bias strips for the corner ribbons and make like 50 stars and applique them all on.  that is what I am working on now.

Then there is Block 7 of a Boy and a Girl quilt to prep and applique which will complete January’s to do list.  Not bad considering today is March 5th.  I’m on it though.

Went to Saturday Sampler yesterday saw more beautiful fabrics and quilts to inspire me.  I truly believe I need to be in fabrics anonymous because I see beautiful fabric and greed takes over and I just want it.   It doesn’t matter that I have a room full of beautiful fabric it seems I just want more.  Feed the beast!  Anyway, I controlled my self and didn’t buy any new fabric just touched it a bit.  I didn’t even drool on it.    Although I have to admit, reluctantly, I did purchase 2 yards Friday and the quilt shop in Rolla when I was there working.  They were pieces that would work well in the Friends of Baltimore quilt that is on my list for next year.  I’m currently collecting fabrics for that project.

I have a muse.  I drive by this adorable barn everyday on my way to work and I fantasize about converting this into living quarters with a quilting studio on top.  I know it crazy, but it’s fun to think about.  Isn’t it wonderful.  I know, I’m crazy.

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Happy March everyone.  I’m heading back into my sewing room to work on ribbons and stars.

Sissy

 

 


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