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Corndog Confessions

February 07, 2014

"I hope my next Guardian at least has her training wheels, because this business with havin' to tell you everything is gettin' a bit old."  "You Slay Me" by Kate MacAlister ♦♦♦♦◊

So, I got a good running start on the Christmas Tree quilt in my first corndog box. The blocks in the center have been trimmed down to accomodate the smallest ones I received. I've got lots of scraps of everyone's reds that I'm using to make filler for the area around the center trees.

I guess it doesn't look a whole lot different, but I now have all the tree parts sewn together as much as I can and I've started piecing the filler areas to fit the 4 block into the center.
And Then....

Did anyone just see a sparkly chicken run through the room?

While I was distracted, the empty Christmas Tree corndog box collected this. Rut-roh.

Bead on a String blocks, my entry into this month's Block Lotto. I follow and enjoy the Block Lotto every month and often have great intentions to join in but something always distracts me. Or I have a deadline. (Surprise, yes? No?)

This month the block just kinda sprang (sprung?) into being - I love it, it's inspiring and I have bunches of oranges and yellows. It's no wonder these things pretty much made themselves.

Now I post the pic to the Lotto website and sit back, hoping my name will be the one drawn at the end of the month as one of the winners of the lotto.

Of course, while I'm waiting I can get back to those Christmas trees, right?


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A Corny Resolution List

January 23, 2014

Abandoned book "Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders" by John Mortimer ♦♦◊◊◊

If you've ever actually sewn with me it's no surprise but to everyone else - have I mentioned that I store projects in empty corn dog boxes? This year my goal is to empty out the corn dog boxes. You see, none of them are labelled and they're all over the place, tucked in corners and stacked on shelves and buried under whatever that is back behind my sewing table.

This is what I found in my first search for boxes. SIXTEEN of them.

Since then, I've discovered another box and there's that mountain of "stuff" back behind the sewing table that may be harboring more of the little devils.

The goal is to just grab a box and work on whatever's in it until it's finished. I haven't inventoried the projects at all, and I did find that one of the boxes here have the leftovers from a finished project so they just need to find a home.

Here's what is in the first box I grabbed.

The blocks and coordinating fabric for the Oh Christmas Tree block swap I hosted for my forum friends at least a year ago, but probably two. Or three. (ack! I just noticed that the Search box at the top of my blog is gone. Bummer.)

Let the fun begin!

By the way, I won't be storing empty corn dog boxes as I complete the projects. I have plenty of other UFOs that can be stored in them; I'll just be sure to mark them when I refill them so I don't get them mixed up. It would probably be a good idea to label the boxes with what's inside, but I'm not going to get carried away or anything...

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December's Shaping Up!

December 08, 2013

Life forever remained a wondrous mystery, even for him.   "Black Order" by James Rollins ♦♦♦♦◊

I wonder where I come up with some of my sayings. It must be because of how much I read - occasionally I'll find myself saying something about throwing vittles down my gullet. Seriously?

Here is my early(ish) December post to tell the world what I'm hoping to accomplish, fiber-wise, this month. The big story is the quilt guild BOM. This isn't a "by New Year's Eve" thing, but a "by 4:30 on Tuesday 10 December" thing. eek! I wanted to have the whole thing quilted, but I'll settle for getting the top put together before our guild's December meeting/party/pot-luck/big reveal on Tuesday night.

So, here's where I am. I have all of the blocks finished and have started putting the first sashing on them. I'm bordering each block with a 2¼" cut strip then cutting all of the blocks down to 12". No, not 12½", 12".

This is what we call Plan B, for those of you who didn't see that coming.

I have this many sashed and trimmed so far, and today I'll be cutting more strips for the last two sides of the remaining 13 blocks.

The original plan was, of course, to cut these to 12½", but some of my earlier blocks didn't quite make it to 9½". Once I gave myself permission to make the blocks MY way rather than trying to follow the written directions, they started turning out the way they should. But one must work to the lowest common denominator (or something like that), so 12" unfinished it is.

I'm using a sashing/setting idea that I found at Geta's Quilting Studio. What a perfect way to 'even up' differently-sized blocks - and make it look like you meant to do it that way!!

So, here's the fabric that I picked for the rest of the setting. I like it a lot.

But this is one that I bought without A Plan and then decided to use in this project. We all know what's coming, right? I don't have enough. Well, I do have enough for the setting, but I wanted to use it for the border, too.

So, thinking to myself, "I know what I'm looking for, I don't need to take it to the store with me," I promptly bought two yards of THIS fabric.

Same flavor, but no dice. And now that I know what I'm looking for (for real), the blue-backgrounded fabric is nowhere to be found.

What are we on now, Plan C?

I also picked up some green to add to my quilt as an accent when I picked up the white backgrounded fabric - it will work with both fabrics, so it will definitely get used.

But I'm just not sure how the quilt is going to finish up. Once I get the blocks together, I'll decide whether the new print will work as a border.

I might have to do that old tea-dye thing that someone else I know was just considering!

In other UFO goals this month, I have a Christmas present that needs to be finished. That's it. Yeah. That's all. Just get a full-sized quilt top done in the next two days (and meet other commitments during that time, too) and finish a Christmas present. No sweat.

Because the best motivator for me is a deadline, right?

I'm linking this post to Carrie's "Nothing But UFOs in 2013" December post.


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Goals = Met!

November 30, 2013

Marilee's HeartAaaaaand, here it is, Marilee's 2nd block.

I gotta tell you, I have no love for this one. I called the shop to find out if they had extra kits and I'll probably buy one and re-make the block. If the fabric in the new kit is cut the same way as the fabric in the one I've just finished I might squawk. Or I might just get some extra of the red dot (where all of my troubles appeared).

As it is, the block might be okay for me, but since I'm doing this as a gift for my friend and since I have kind of a reputation to live up to (the neat-piecing kind, not that other kind) I really think I'll just make a new one.

I guess now I'll just have one more thing to add to December's goals, won't I?


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About Those Goals

November 29, 2013

Actually, I'm not doing too badly. According to my original post, I wanted to
  • Finish Marilee's Birthday Blocks
  • Finish Peggy's Birthday Blocks - check
  • Finish my guild BOM blocks - check
  • Finish Sekrit Projict #1 for my Secret Santa gift-ee - check
  • Finish Sekrit Projict #2 for a birthday girl

Marilee's BlockThis is block one of the two I'm doing for Marilee. From a 'Saturday Sampler' (BOM) at the Paisley Duck. I ended up drawing each component on paper and foundation piecing it to get the bee-yoo-tiful points. Oh, and stopping by the shop to get and extra piece of background because for some reason I decided to cut one triangle actual size rather than the size that will provide seam allowances. Dork.

The second block is from a different Saturday Sampler, but I'm having a little bit of trouble with it. One of the fabrics that was provided was cut to actual size (I didn't do it this time, it arrived that way!) so I had to do some improvisation. I've got that part 'fixed' now so it's only a matter of finishing up the block. I'll get that done tomorrow, for sure, and share the picture. If I don't do a huge high-resolution picture, you might not even be able to tell what I did to fix the block!

Peggy's BlocksPeggy's birthday blocks. The dark one is 1/4 of an Amish Star block, if I recall correctly. Each month guild members can grab a packet of pre-cut pieces and the pattern of the month to make a block or a few. The next month the blocks get turned in, and by the following month the guild "sweat shop" has turned the blocks into at least a quilt top, if not a complete quilt, to go into the stack of available quilts for events, charity or disaster comfort.

The light block is also a guild project, called "Color Box". Each year the committee fills 2 or 3 boxes (kinda like really large shoeboxes) with various fabrics. Throughout the year members get to take a box home and make one 12½" block from the contents (and ONLY the contents). This year all of the boxes contain reproduction fabrics and a nice natural muslin background. We get to choose whatever pattern we make, but we can't sit on the box for long because others want to get their chance. At our summer potluck, the names of everyone who has made a block goes into a hat and one, two or three names are chosen, depending on how many blocks were completed. The winner(s) get the blocks. Last year I think there was enough in the boxes to provide blocks to make 3 quilts.

guild BOM

All of the blocks are finished (phew!). I've begun to cut sashing; fortunately the random amount of yardage I bought before I knew what I was doing for the sashing will be enough for what I need.

Sekrit Projict #1 for my Secret Santa gift-ee. It's a tiny picture that will be huge when you click on it, but this is still in the Sekrit stage... I won't be mailing until Monday and I am almost 100% sure that my gift-ee doesn't read my blog (but she can get to it if she so chooses) but if you really want to see it (and you're sure I am not your Secret Santa) go ahead and click. Oh, and sorry it's so big - I forgot to resize it from the camera.

Now, the brilliant story behind this gift: While straightening up the area where people wait in line to check out (remember, I work at Jo-Ann Fabrics), I came across a lone Patrick Lose Quilting Celebrations magazine, published by Fons & Porter. Almost every stinking project in the magazine said, "Make ME! Make ME!", even the recipes. After I got off work, I promptly bought the magazine. I almost never buy magazines. This one was that compelling to me.

After planning and sketching and starting and stopping multiple projects for my gift-ee, I finally decided to take another look through this magazine that insisted it be recreated in its entirety. Why was I trying to invent something myself when there were so many stunning or adorable projects begging to be made?

The "batting" in this little (12") project is Insul-Brite. Amazing definition to the quilting! I guess the recipient could use this for a hot pad on her holiday table, though I won't be surprised if it is just on display somewhere.

Oh - and the brilliant thing I did? I took it to work to show off before I sent it to its new home. Everyone loved it. Then when I got in the car to come home, I managed to spill cold coffee on it. :sheesh: I rinsed it as soon as I got home and the stain-treated it and tossed it in the washer. *I* know that it still shows some signs of caffeination but hopefully its new owner won't be able to tell (though she's read the story).

And then there's Sekrit Projict #2.

My lovely friend from work had a birthday this month and I wanted to make something to give to her at her birthday party. I chose a sweet little lacy something to knit up for her in some yummy fluffy angora lace yarn. It took me almost two weeks of fussing with the project and re-reading and re-training and re-knitting until I re-evaluated my plan. I really like my friend, but this project was screaming that it was NOT meant to be. (And un-knitting and re-knitting angora lace yarn is NOT for the weak of heart, mind, soul or flesh)

I chose another "quick" little project to do with the yarn and made some headway on it - but remember I'd wasted 2 weeks before I cut bait - and it got to be just plain NOT fun. My friend doesn't know that I was planning to do anything for her and there weren't other presents at the party, so it wasn't a problem showing up empty-handed. I haven't tossed out the second project and maybe I'll get it made for Christmas. But for now, this Projict is off the list!

So there you have it. All but one of my goals has been met (or hit with the reality stick) and I have every confidence that within 24 hours or so I'll be sharing a picture of that last bit.

But wait!! I hear you say. Yesterday was Thanksgiving! What about the blow-by-blow food prep pictures and the obligatory turkey portrait? (It has just occurred to me that I may now have enough turkey portraits to make a calendar. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Tracy's Turkeys, A Year of Drool-Inducing Pictures. Sometimes I just crack me up!)

Yes, Virginia, there was wonderful and amazing food to be had this week. We/I cooked the bird on Tuesday and shared the progress pictures with the folks over on Google Plus (easier to do on the run and from my iPod). This year's feast seemed to come together particularly smoothly; everything turned out very good and the timing was PERFECT!!

Isn't Mr. W. a great turkey.... carver?

He even took over after the meal (because I had to go to work!) and boiled the carcass and 'jarred' it up. That there is some good-looking turkey goop!!

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