29 December 2007

End of the year status

To me, keeping tally of what I have and what I have not, is ... necessary. I love to get new things and I love to start new projects. However, I have a tendency to put away projects for no good reason at all ... which is how I got to a point of having "more than 50" UFO (UnFinishedObjects for ye who do not know the quilty vocabulary).
About 5 years ago, I started chipping away on the multitude, and to finish things. My goal then was to reach "10 or less" active projects. And when I got there, I realized that 10 projects were too many as well. I cannot keep them all in my head and I cannot work consistently on more than 1 or 2 projects.
... and yes. I need to work consistently on a project to see progress and to stay ... if not exited, then at least interested :-)

SO, I've been chipping away and this year, I end the year with only 5 projects on my list ... 3 of which are in the "being quilted" stage ... which is an extremely nice place to be.

My present list of projects is as follows :
SE-2. A Dear Hannah triangle-quilt. Presently with LAQuilter
Sampler. Mostly Dear Jane-quilt. Presently with LAQuilter
Applique Allsorts. Being hand-quilted.
Lollipop Trees. Applique-quilt in preparation
Boxed Blocks. Jinny Beyer pattern from her "Quiltmaking by Hand" with Inklingo templates. An "on the run" project. (mock-up of the so-far work below)
My goals for the coming year ? Well, basically to keep on keeping on. To not acquire any new UFOs. To this end, I have made myself some basic rules, and for the year 2008 they are :
  1. To finish (at least) one project before starting a new one.
  2. To use (at least) one PIG* before acquiring a new one.
  3. To use (at least) as much fabric as I acquire.
And more specifically :
To not start a new quilt until the 3 "being quilted" projects are actually quilted and bound. I don't know if I can keep that one, but I will try.

*PIG : Project In Grocerybag. Doesn't have to physically be in a grocery-bag. It means, that everything for a project is there : pattern and fabric. Ready to roll. Just ... not rolling ... yet.

Happy Holidays !

Another long time no write. Well. I love blogging, but sometimes, family, freinds and festivities comes first. Christmas is one of those times.
Still, belated, but no less heart-felt : Happy Christmas to any and all who celebrate, and here is wishing you a New year filled with blessings.
May your seams always be straight, your points be sharp and may your seam-ripper gather dust.

I got DSis-in-law's quilt home from the LAQ just before "the day", so I've been spending time binding it. Slow work, but I always try to get the binding on asap when a quilt is quilted. If I don't, this final step in quiltmaking has a tendency to grow into an ogre.
On the Jewel-box-quilt (for DSiL) the quilter made some - to my mind - very good choices. Very simple straight lines, and then, a wee feather in the "big" red squares on point. As can be seen.

Further, I've finished another pair of socks, so ... right now, I'm down to a surprising 5 not-yet-finished projects ... two of which are sent out for quilting and one of which is being hand-quilted.
Very good :-)

Naturally, there is BOB too, but it doesn't frazzle me. I have been very good about not swapping during the past couple of years, so I don't have oodles of sets of blocks that needs to be turned into quilts. Most of BOB are experiments and left-overs, and as such, BOB is mostly a source of fast-finish projects and small stuff.

16 December 2007

Holidays are here

And they have arrived with a teeny, tiny bit of decorating.

The "nisser" are up,

and so are the snow-globes.

And thise is just some of it. The more fragile of both types are put in places that are - relatively speaking - cat-safe. We do have 3 cats, and at least 2 of them likes to jump onto high places. Preferably high, crowded places. After all, there might be a quilt up there, and quilts are favourite sleeping-places.
The really unusual thing about this is, that for the first time in years, I'm not acquiring any new nisser. Not for me, and not for kiddies. We have enough. And it will be quite a few years before they will have any interest, what-so-ever, in decorating their own homes. Until then, I'm sort-of "stuck" with their decorations, so ... nothing new this year ! When they - eventually - move out and take their Christmas-things, I'll evaluate whether I "need" more ... or less.
Oh well.

Things still to do :
Get tree.
Decorate tree.
Get presents.
Wrap presents.
Buy food.
Bake cookies.

11 December 2007

Blog-readability ???

Found this test over at Jane's blog, and ran it on my own.
And frankly, I feel quite good about the rating. After all, I am a non-native speaker (and writer), so its good to know that at least one 'puter programme considers my English to be at high-school level :-)


Sometimes, even my best efforts seem to be of no avail.
I've started preparing the blocks for Kim McLean's "Lollipop Trees", using Kaffe Fasset's fabrics, and ... I'm running into ... trouble.

Nooooo, the block doesn't look horrible (as you can see), however, it doesn't look like I wanted it to, and that feels something like failure.

I wanted it to glow with colour ('cause thats the way I like it), instead, it seems rather ... bland. A bit flat, in fact, in spite of the wild and wonderful colours of the fabrics and the decided bubbly happiness of the pattern.

Further, I have trouble adjusting to the fabrics. Love them. Love the wild and wonderful colours and patterns, but ...
This particular pattern is completely left-right symmetrical, so to get it "right" you need to let the fabrics reflect that ... only ... mr Fasset's fabrics are - in general - not mirror-image fabrics, giving me some problems in achieving the desired symmetry.
BUT, I guess this is a learning experience, and hope that the flavour of "failure" is mostly due to the time of year. I really, seriously, don't like this time of the year. It is already far too dark for my taste, and it will take another month before it will be this light again !

Guess I'll pack up this block and call it "prepared" (when I've basted and ironed the brown tree-bits too, which will happen soon), and then I'll proceed to the next block, hoping to get it ... more to my taste.
I'll keep you posted (but it'll probably take another week or two before I have anything to show for my efforts. Preparing these blocks is time-consuming, and time is not what I have the most of right now)

09 December 2007

Quilting in Progress

There really isn't a whole lot to show when the main focus of one's quilting-life is ... quilting. Progress is slow, and the visual change from finished top isn't huge. The change is in texture and feel.
HOWever, I have attempted to show how Allsorts is being quilted in the first picture. You just might (might !) be able to discern the straight-line frame-quilting I'm putting into and around each block.

To get the picture, I laid it out on the floor, as straight as I could (living in small rooms with much furniture), and sat down, trying to get the light in at an angle where quilting-line-texture might show. And, mirabili dictu, I succeeded in taking a few pictures before "that" happened.
And what "that" is ?
Well, in this household we have critters. 3 cats and a rabbit. Put anything remotely quilty within easy reach of either of these, and they will not only investigate, but will lay down. As can be seen on pictures.
Rabbit came first and was told "Nibble and die", which - naturally - sent her away. Quilts are no fun unless you can taste them. And when she left, the tailless gentleman, Pushkin, felt that my sitting on the floor, with a quilt spread out, was an invitation to himself to play and cuddle.

So, yes. Even if it is "only" about 1/3rd quilted, critters have, well and truly, taken to it and have started to "house-break" it :-)
... there is a reason all my quilts need to be washable.