Author Archives: Melanie

December 2019 Plans

Happy December!

This year, I want to spend time with the people that are important to me and to enjoy the holidays. I started by texting the people I rarely see to schedule time. Those are the most important because if we don’t put it on the calendar, it will not happen.

In terms of my crafty life, I do not have a lot of goals.

Goal #1 – finish Jacob’s Weasley Sweater.  I have to finish the sleeves, mattress stitch the open sides, knit the collar and weave in the ends.  My goal is to have these done by Christmas so we can get our annual Christmas picture done with him in the sweater.

Goal #2 – 2 columns on Mama’s Bukid.  I’m on track to get this finished in February as my goal is to get 2 columns done each month.  (Yes, I only have 6 columns left to do!)

That’s all my must do goals for this month. Everything else is pure enjoyment.  And over the last couple of years, the way I do goals have changed.  Before I used to have annual goals, that I would then break down to monthly goals and then weekly goals.  And every week and month I would document what my goals were, where I was with each thing and what I planned to do the following week or month. It was helpful until I started spending more time stitching and then knitting.  As I did more and more crafts I didn’t see the same kind of progress that I used to have.  Now I devote time to each craft and however much I do is how much I get done.  Unless I have a deadline for something, I do not set goals to getting things done.  I set a queue of things and I have priority projects in each craft and I work on things as I need to.

So for December, here is what I plan to work on:

Quilting – Good Fortune.  I have the inner top put together. I just need to put the borders together and then this top is done!  I am not playing with Bonnie’s Mystery Quilt this year.  I realize this past year I have a ton of mystery quilts that I have on the go and I’m a bit tired of them.  So I’m pulling her instructions each week to do at some point later on.

Sewing – I’m taking a sewing class right now and I’m working on garment sewing. I just started and will update you as I go along.

That’s it.  I’ll post more about what my thoughts on my upcoming goal and plans for 2020 later this month.

~Happy crafting!

~Melanie

I bought fabric…again!

Celtic Solstice
Finished
Sometime Early 2019…

Tomorrow is Sunday and when I posted regularly I used to count the yards of fabric stashed and deduct what I’d finished from week to week.  The point was to keep me from buying too much or at least be mindful of how much I was buying.  The problem is that I work on big quilts and they take forever to finish so … I had week after week with zero updates.  Those were good weeks.  If nothing was coming out then thank my stash goodness that nothing was coming in.  But I also have a monthly budget to support my LQS and would add fabric monthly. And I support my quilt guild and help buy stuff at their annual treasure hunt and our bi-annual quilt show.  So I stopped doing the Sunday Stash report because on those days I would add big numbers and I just felt bad about it.  Instead, I started focusing on my list of quilt projects.

Here was the list early in 2019:

  1. Celtic Solstice
  2. Have yourself a Quilty Little Christmas
  3. Staycation
  4. Civil War Diary
  5. Raining Cats and Dogs
  6. Rainbow Garden
  7. Provence (2012 BOM from my LQS)
  8. Asian (2012 BOM from my LQS)
  9. Scrappy Stars (2016 mystery from Charlotte Hawkes)
  10. 2012 Quilt Run – Area One mystery Quilt
  11. Allietare
  12. Razzle Dazzle
  13. Lucky Stars
  14. Spooky Halloween
  15. En Provence
  16. Dancing with the Stars
  17. Glam Clam

Now… 10/26/19… here’s where I’m at with that list

  1. Celtic Solstice – Finished!
  2. Have yourself a Quilty Little Christmas – Finished!
  3. Staycation – Top is done, I believe the back is ready, and I just need to quilt it.
  4. Civil War Diary – on hiatus. My computer crashed last fall and I haven’t installed EQ8 back on it.
  5. Raining Cats and Dogs – This one is being hand quilted… very slowly.. I only work on it every couple of months.
  6. Rainbow Garden – This one is wool applique and is hand work that I do during my minigroup get togethers.
  7. Provence (2012 BOM from my LQS) – Top is done, and I believe the back is ready. It’s ready to be quilted.
  8. Asian (2012 BOM from my LQS) – This is exactly the same as Provence but in a different colorway so I am going to do this another time.
  9. Scrappy Stars (2016 mystery from Charlotte Hawkes) – I am currently working on this.
  10. 2012 Quilt Run – Area One mystery Quilt – I bring this out during retreats and it’s very close to a finish.
  11. Allietare – tucked away with other projects
  12. Razzle Dazzle – in time out. I can’t remember now why. But I do not have enough fabric to finish as designed – I can’t remember if it’s because I miscut or if it was the shop that put the kit together.
  13. Lucky Stars – This was frogged a long time ago but I still have all the patterns (it is a paper piecing project) so theoretically I can work on it again.
  14. Spooky Halloween – Hand applique and I only do hand work at my minigroup meetings right now so I haven’t been able to touch this.
  15. En Provence – tucked away. I only work on 1 Bonnie Hunter quilt at a time so this will have to wait.
  16. Dancing with the Stars – I took this out at a retreat for the first time in years and started working on it.  So this is a retreat project.
  17. Glam Clam – I do one row at a time at retreats.  I think I have 3 rows left…

It looks like I only finished 2 quilts and technically that’s correct.  But I’ve got 2 more tops done that is just waiting to be quilted and I have a handful of smaller projects that were finished or waiting to be quilted.  So all in all, I think I did a good job.  I am currently working regularly on last year’s Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt – Good Fortune! and I’m almost done. I’m on the “reveal” which is a bunch of steps all in one blog post.  So I’m putting the blocks together.  The other quilt I work on regularly when I’m tired of Good Fortune! is Charlotte Hawkes mystery quilt from 2016.  I think it’s called Scrappy Stars or something like that.  I’m not almost done with that one but I am working on #11 of Step 3.  I do not think I’ll be doing Bonnie’s mystery quilt this year but I will save the instructions and do them one day.  I meet up with friends every Sunday I am available and we quilt for a few hours.  It’s helped me get close to finishing Good Fortune before the next mystery. I’m very close but I do not think I’ll get there.  I would have to be a bit monogamous to do that and I like to play around too much. 😉

Happy quilting!

~Melanie

 

I’m back.

Hi. I cannot believe how much time has gone by. A lot has happened and I can’t even begin to sum it all up. I’ve gone to a number of retreats since February. My daughter graduated and is happy as a clam in Boston.  The family went on a memorable trip to the Philippines during the summer and my son has started high school.  We are chugging along. Yesterday I celebrated my 43rd birthday and today, I decided to get off my butt and start blogging again.  I get so much done putting up my action plans and writing about what I’m doing and why.  It holds me accountable and I think about my projects more.  I’m probably not going to link up to other blogs like I’ve done in the past because I just don’t have the time.

Another huge thing that happened during my hiatus was a move across town.  It was not planned and it was an unexpected, sudden, crappy situation.  But we are doing well and we are in a great neighborhood.  It’s a little smaller than our old house so I have not unpacked all my crafty stuff.  It has helped in getting some old projects done.

In the interest of time, I’m not going to go through all my finishes over the last several months. I’ll sprinkle them in over time.  For now, I’ll talk about my crafty plans for the next few weeks.

I’m working on my Good Fortune quilt. and I’m on the Reveal putting pieces together.  There are always so many steps in the reveal.  So I’ve finished putting together these blocks

and I’m working on putting them together for a larger block.

I’m alternating this project with a Scrappy project from 2016. I’m on clue #3 step 12 or something like that.  I’ll show pics when I next work on it.

~happy quilting!

Melanie

 

Update on February Plans and this week’s POA, week 7, 2019

Good morning my friends,

It was a productive week.

For quilting:

Celtic Solstice – Goal for February is to have this bound and labeled.

Celtic Solstice
2/9/19
Binding in process

Good Fortune – Goal is to finish Clue 2 and start on Clue 3. I normally work on this on Sunday’s with a friend and yesterday was our guild’s workshop so we didn’t get together. Next Sunday I will be out of town so the next time I will be getting together at Tova’s will be Sunday, 2/24.  You’ll be happy to know that I did finish Clue 2. and all I need to do is to start on Clue 3.  Which I’ll be able to do when we next get together.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
Finished
2/3/19

 

Provence – Goal is to piece the border. – not yet done… And with the next 2 weekends filled with activities, not sure if I’ll be able to get this done.

For Knitting:

January Socks – Finished one sock!

January Socks
just one
2/5/19
Honey Bees Dance
by Helen Stewart

 

February Sock – I’m working on Mercury socks by Kim McKenzie/Drotrar using Hypnotic Yarn’s Grinchmas.  I love the colorway but the yarn is too plum for socks for me.  I would probably love a hat or gloves with this yarn.  While it’s cold now, it doesn’t get cold often enough in Los Angeles to warrant making a lot of wool plump socks.  The yarn is 80% SW Merino, 20% Nylon and at first my knitting friend who is much more accomplished than I thought it might be the 80/20 blend that I don’t like.  But after a few days thought that that’s probably not it as I’ve been knitting with similar yarn compositions in the past.  So then we realized that there are only 400 yards in this 100 grams and I’ve been knitting with yardage around 430’s and up.  Which is why this particular yarn is plumper than the yarn I normally work with.  The yarn is lovely, don’t get me wrong, just not something I want to use in socks again. Anyway, I’m almost through the foot and will be working on the heel before the weeks ends.

Jacob’s Weasley Sweater – This sweater is in time out.  I can’t even talk about it at the moment.

Featherweight cardigan – I am finished blending out yarn 1 on one sleeve. I have to work on blending out yarn 1 on the second sleeve and finish blending it out of the body.  Then I’ll be working solely with yarn 2 for a little bit while I think about when to blend in yarn 3. I’ll get a picture once Yarn 1 is blended out completely. Right now there are so many yarn bits hanging out it’s difficult to try on let alone to take a pic with it.

For Cross Stitching:

  • Mama’s Bukid- Goal is to finish column 1 and 2 on page 3 and 6.

Mama’s Bukid
2/10/19
almost done with columns 1 and 2 on pages 3 and 6

  • Gamer – Goal is to finish page 6. I have about 2 more columns to do so I’m pretty close to this goal.  I just need to finish my goal for Mama’s Bukid, then I can work on this project. The only thing is that I am out of town this coming weekend so I will not be able to stitch a lot. I think that that is okay but it does mean I have to rush, which I hate doing. 🙂
  • Snowman – Goal is to finish stitching the perimeter of this WIP. I have worked on this a bit and I have about 1 side left to finish in order to have the perimeter completely stitched on this project. This is my traveling piece so I’ll be working on this a lot this weekend.

This coming weekend I’ll be out of town so I may not be able to get a post out. I plan to not visit any shops (quilt shops, yarn shops, needlepoint shops) as I need to not spend money on anything other than food and gas and possibly parking, if necessary.  My daughter was just accepted to Boston University and I need to watch my pennies.  Of course, we’re still waiting to hear back in regards to her financial aid package and depending on what they give her will determine whether she will go there or not.  Instead, the daughter and I will be visiting San Francisco State just in case the financial aid package at BU is unacceptable.

Keep crafting and love on!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

 

Saturday Musings, quilt on!

My major project over the next couple weeks is this skirt:

Delphine Skirt
by Tilly and the Buttons

 

I hope it’s cute on me.  But if it’s not – well, I am taking this opportunity to practice sewing.  It’s fun and right now I have the pieces cut up. Tomorrow, I plan to cut some interface for the band and to start sewing all the pieces together.  Oh and I need to buy a zipper.  So we’ll see how far I get tomorrow. I’ve been wanting to sew skirts for a long time and I hope that this will help me learn to do more.

I did a bit of unplanned crafting today.  I took my daughter to a school tour to see if it’s one of the places she might attend for college. It was not as far as I had thought and we spent about 30 minutes when she decided it wasn’t the right place for her.  So we returned home much sooner than I had thought and was able to get some things done.

1st, I was able to get part of my sleeve done on my featherweight cardigan.  I am having some yarn management issues as I transition from yarn 1 to yarn 2 so I finished yarn 1’s part on sleeve 1 and now just need to do the same on sleeve 2. Then I can continue on the body and get to the point where I start adding yarn 3.  I love how it’s turning out and I’m sorry I cannot get a very good picture of it.  Here’s the last time I was able to take a pick:

Then I was able to work on Mama’s Bukid.  My goal for February is column 1 and 2 and I’ve been stitching 1 box per day.  So today’s the 9th and since I was a little behind I stitched both box 8 and box 9.  I have 3 more boxes and I will be done with column 1 and 2 for the month. I don’t really like stitching on Mama’s Bukid but it’s my focus WIP for this year. I’ve discovered since I started stitching more that I like to stitch 18 or 25 count. As Gamer is on 18 and A Stitch In Time is on 25. Mama’s Bukid is on 14 count and I feel like it’s so big.  I need to use 4 flosses to get the right coverage I like.  But I’m persisting and I’m on track to get this done this year.

And Finally, as of this moment of writing, I measured the perimeter of Celtic Solstice and pulled fabric from the stash bins to start cutting for the binding.  I hope to cut and piece the binding tonight before I move on to my next project.

And since I pulled fabric and went through the bins in my closet, I started looking at the projects that I’ve got going.  I’m going to 2 retreats at the end of March.  It just kind of happened.  One of the retreats is with a friend and we will be up in the mountains in a cabin.  We’re both excited for that one as it sounds really nice to be up in the mountains near LA in spring.  This one runs Monday through Thursday and the second retreat is near Santa Maria, CA the following Saturday through Monday.  I will be taking my work laptop and I hope they have internet in the mountains so I can stay connected and take care of anything if necessary. So I looked at some longstanding WIPs and I’m starting to plan which projects I will take with me.  I’ve got 2 quilts ready to be quilted and those are not going to go with me to the retreat.  The 3rd quilt I’ve been working on, Provence, will probably be done before the retreats and will be in the quilting queue with the others. So I have to look at what I will take. I am still working on my Civil War Diary quilt but I generally only do a block or two at a time. My computer crashed a couple of months ago and I still haven’t re-installed EQ7 so I can print more of the block instructions.  But I think I have 2 blocks printed and ready to use from the last time I printed block instructions.  And I’ve got Area One Mystery Quilt from 2012.  I have quite a few blocks finished from previous retreats and that will be a good #1 project.  I also have Bonnie’s Good Fortune quilt that I can continue working on.  So that’s 3 projects.  I pulled a Glam Clam quilt that I started a few years ago and I don’t think it ever made it onto the blog. I also pulled “Dancing with the Stars” which is an old Linda Ballard pattern I started at a class I took with her at PIQF many years ago.  I love how my quilts are slowly getting done and I’m starting to go into my old WIPs.  At some point, I’ll be going through my new fabric and making stuff with them.  I took this opportunity to pet some of them. 🙂  I have quite a few that I purchased specifically to make skirts or to make bags.  So, one of these days, I will jump on that.  But I currently have 2 totes in process so I want to finish those before I start any new bags.

Happy crafting friends!

I will go back to my cutting table and start cutting the pieces for my binding.

Happy quilting!

Hugs,

Melanie

 

 

January’s Update and February’s Plans

For quilting:

Celtic Solstice – I have all the quilting done!  To be fair, I had 2 of the sides left to quilt at the end of January and just finished quilting the other two sides today. And, I have it all trimmed and ready for binding.  So my goal for February is to get it bound and labeled.

Celtic Solstice
All quilted
2/2/2019

Good Fortune – In January I finished Clue 1 and got through most of Clue 2.  I just need to finish trimming my HSTs for Clue 2, which I plan to do in February and work on Clue 3.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
In process
1/20/19

Provence – My goal for February is to piece the border. I’m still deciding if I should go with just 1 border or find a second border to add to it.

Provence
9/22/18

For Knitting:

I generally work on my knitting during the week and when I’m out and about.  So my focus knitting is on my monthly socks. Right now they are my February socks. Because it’s February. 🙂 In January, I was working on Helen Stewart’s Honey Bees Dance Socks and they are not done. I’m using a sock blank so I can only do 1 sock at a time (I dislike doing 1 sock at a time!).  And I’m still on my first sock. I have one last pattern repeat and then I can do the toes.  This is almost done. But it’s February now so these socks are not the socks I’m focusing on. I will try to finish these as I’m almost done… My February socks are Kim Drotar’s Mercury Socks using Hypnotic Yarns “Grinchmas” colorway.  I’m doing these toe up and I finished the first pattern repeat. I plan to do a pattern repeat a day so I should be at the heel in about 2 weeks. I work on these daily. On most Tuesdays and Thursday evenings I meet with some knitting friends at our LYS – A Major Knitwork in Van Nuys, CA.  There I work first on Jacob’s Weasley Sweater.  I finished the front and I’m currently working on the neck shaping. My goal for February is to be working on the sleeves.  And when I get to a good stopping point, my favorite piece to work on is my Featherweight Cardigan.  I love working on this and right now I’m finishing Yarn 1 and moving in Yarn 2. In February I want to be working in Yarn 3.

Honey Bees Dance Socks
January, 2019

For Cross Stitching:

  • Mama’s Bukid- I was able to finish the pages in January and every month from now until it’s finished my plan is to finish 2 columns per month.

Mama’s Bukid
January 31, 2019

  • Gamer – I was able to get halfway through page 6 so in February my goal is to finish page 6.

Gamer
1/31/2019

  • Snowman – My February goal is to finish stitching the perimeter of this WIP.

Have a Happy Saturday Night!

Keep crafting and love on!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

 

Good Fortune, Another Bonnie Hunter project

I do not remember if I ever mentioned this project and that I did participate… continue to participate. A guildmate and I get together most Sundays to work on our mystery quilts.  Originally it was supposed to be Bonnie Hunter’s Good Fortune Quilt but she decided to work on a different mystery quilt.  Meeting like this really helps to get me back into my quilty mode. I just started with clue 1 and I worked on that until it was done.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue One
Finished
1/11/19

Then I started with Clue 2. I’m still working on clue two but I will probably be done with it pretty soon.

Good Fortune Mystery Quilt
Clue Two
In process
1/20/19

I’m using the square in a square method and it took me a while to figure out how wide the blue borders and the center square needed to be to get the right measurement of my HSTs. The center square needs to be about 4″ square and the borders are about 2″ wide.  The squares have to be accurate but the borders didn’t have to be exactly 2. If it was a little small or big it would still work.  This was a really fast method and my HSTs are perfect.  Hopefully, it will be done this week and I can get started on Clue 3 next Sunday.

Happy crafting,

Melanie

Provence, a border fail

So I got Provence out yesterday ready to start taking care of my #1 quilty goal this week when I pulled out the border fabric I purchased in 2012.

I hate it.  Okay, hate is too strong of a word. I’m not sure what I was thinking but it’s one thing to get a border with an idea of how the quilt will be. And quite another when the quilt is actually ready for a border.  I laid the purchased fabric to the side and decided I needed to get something else.  So off to my LQS, quilt in tow, it is. 🙂

~Melanie

Monday, POA, Week 4, 2019

I really rocked it and was able to get the inner parts of Celtic Solstice all quilted up. Now I’m all ready to quilt the borders. Except that I’m busy for the next 2 weeks.  The next time I have the time to tackle the borders will be Saturday, Feb. 2. So I’m putting it on the calendar. This is the reason why it takes so long for me to quilt a quilt. I need to have a full day to get into the mindset to do something.  And with such a big quilt, every bit of quilting is hard work. It is exhausting.  But I made another step of progress and I’m almost done!

In the meantime, my plan is to work on Provence. The last time I worked on Provence was at the quilt retreat I attended at Thimble Towne in Bakersfield, CA last September.  It was the first retreat I attended with fellow guildmates and my crafty friend, Mindy. I finished piecing the inner top and the next step is to piece the border.  So, sometime this week I want to press the top, measure appropriately, cut the border, and piece it.

Here’s a pic of Provence as it is currently:

Provence
9/22/18

I currently have a quilting queue. Remember my #MakeNine2019.  The 3 quilt projects on my #MakeNine2019 are Celtic Solstice, Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas, and Staycation. The top for Quilty Little Christmas has been done for a while.  Since Feb, 2017. All the details are on my project page.

Have yourself a quilty little Christmas!
Top is finished! 🙂
2/24/2017

It has been waiting for Celtic Solstice to be finished quilting for a long while. I have the batting and back ready for this thing. It’s been ready for so long I need to pull it out and make sure the back is actually cut. I don’t remember anymore.

I just finished Staycation last weekend at the most recent quilt retreat I attended with my Crafty friend, Karen.  We were at Creation Station in Solvang, CA (actually it’s really Buelton, but no one really knows Buelton unless you are from SoCal and Buelton is 2 miles from Solvang. It’s actually the town you are at when you exit the 101 to head into Solvang.)  So I still need to prep batting and the back before I quilt this one.  I’m planning to do that when I’m finished with Quilty Little Christmas.  So I’ll be working on Provence as my current quilty project.  That’s quilt #4 that’s almost ready to be finished and then sit in the queue until I’m ready to quilt it.

Happy quilting!

Melanie