Monday, December 31, 2012

Ready, Set -- 13 in 2013 UFO Challenge!

Are you ready to challenge yourself to complete some UFOs during 2013?  I know I am!

Here's how it works:
1.  Pull out 13 of your UFOs.  (Notice I didn't say all your UFOs.  I know you have at least 13!)   These can be half-done projects, barely begun projects, or even quilt "kits." 
2.  I put each project in its own 2-gallon size plastic bag.  Saves time I would have spent looking for the pattern or the special template required!
3.  Number each bag 1 - 13.
4.  Come to 52 Quilts the morning of the first day of each month in 2013 and I will have posted the number for that month's project.
5.  The 13th project is "extra credit."  Complete it at any time during the year.
As the year progresses, we'll discuss a link-up -- would you like to link up your finished projects?  Maybe form a Flickr group?

And of course, there will be giveaways.  I think one each month for one of the "completers" that month!

Speaking of "completers," um  . . . I didn't quite make my "30 Quilts in 60 Days" goal.

I did, however, piece 52 quilts this year!  For "Finish it up Friday," I'll post a "year in review" with all my 52 Quilts.

Now, go dig out those UFOs and start labeling!  Tomorrow morning, come back and see what number was drawn for the first of our "13 in 2013 UFOs."

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Easy Street and Jelly Roll Party

After a disastrous Christmas dinner, I was glad to get back to my sewing machine, and something I am really good at!

OK, here's the story.  Because both boys were going to be away this Christmas, I decided DH and I would enjoy a non-traditional Christmas dinner.  I chose a recipe from Penzey's Spices for Ethiopian Chicken and Red Lentil Stew.

The chicken recipe called for 1/2 cup of Peri Peri seasoning, something similar to Cayenne Pepper.

I cut the amount of Peri Peri seasoning in half, but the chicken still turned out soooo spicy we couldn't eat it!  It smelled really good while it was cooking -- but I had tears running down my cheeks when I tried to eat the chicken!

Lucky for us, there was enough leftover ham to have ham sandwiches!

So I took my after-dinner glass of wine downstairs and finished up the next step of Bonnie Hunter's "Easy Street" mystery.  Even though this is a busy week, 150 quilters have linked up to Bonnie's "Mystery Monday" linky!

Today I started on the first "Jelly Roll Party" sample.  This is going to be a really cute quilt -- "Spools" by Camille Roskelley.  I even used the same fabric as on the pattern cover, "Marmalade."  Ruth's Stitchery is hosting a Jelly Roll Party on the first Friday of each month in 2013.

Even if you don't live in Colorado Springs, you can join the party.  Just click here and you can order the pattern and a jelly roll by phone!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas to All

Happy Christmas from 52 Quilts!  Hope you all enjoy a day filled with family, friends and fun. 

Yes, I met my goal to piece 52 quilts in 2012 (the 52nd one is hanging as a store sample, photo to follow next week!).  I enjoyed two trips to Idaho, one to Ohio and a visit from My Little Sailor.  We added a third corgi to our pack, and the two cats "tolerate" them.

I haven't quite met my goal of quilting 30 quilts in 60 days on the longarm, but there still are six days left in 2012!

Neither have I written my resolutions for 2013.  Shall I try for a third year in a row of piecing 52 quilts?  Maybe I should make it "quilt 52 quilts!"  I'm sure I have enough tops to meet that goal!

If you have a free moment today, start thinking about your "13 in 2013 UFO projects."  New Year's Eve, we'll number them and pull the first number so we can start our UFO Challenge on New Year's Day!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" Stash

Elder Son and I have a theory that there are two kinds of people in this world as far as gifts are concerned:  Those who want what they want, and those who want to be surprised.  ES and I are of the "want what we want" school of thought.  Younger Son wants to be surprised -- with exactly what he wants.

This theory makes Christmas easy on DH.  I just buy what I want and say "Look what you got me for Christmas."  He did particularly well this year.

See this?  It's a Moda Bella Solids color card.  Since most of my Jelly Roll Party quilts for 2013 will be made from Moda Jelly Rolls, won't it be nice to see what solids go with?  This is the kind of gift every quilter would love, but probably wouldn't buy for herself.

In addition (and to take advantage of Hancocks of Paducah's discount and free shipping offer:

If you buy an entire bolt, the cost is less than $6 per yard!

I also completed my Madrona Road collection with the help of Sew Fresh Fabrics:

Can't wait to start on my Front Range Modern Quilt Guild challenge pillow.

Some people send "fruit of the month club" gifts.  I prefer the "Stash Stack Club" from Pink Castle Fabrics -- brown this month.

This is the second year in a row I've scored Lizzy House's holiday bundle.  It even has a bit of her newest collection, "Constellation!"  I can't bear to unwrap it, they look so pretty stacked up.

If you're buying it to make gifts, does it still count as a gift to yourself?  This is "Type" by Julia Rothman for Windham Fabrics.  Got the first few pieces from my favorite etsy shop, FreshSqueezedFabrics, and completed the collection with further help from Sew Fresh Fabrics.

Stay tuned in January to see what they will become!

One of the BOM clubs I joined for 2013 at Ruth's Stitchery is "Ryokan."  A Ryokan is a Japanese Inn, appropriate for My Little Sailor who is stationed in Japan.  I thought I had some leftover Japanese Taupes from two graduation quilts, but I must have used up all the scraps.  High Country Quilts had a few Daiwabo prints:

I'm thinking I'll use these prints from Sew Fresh Fabrics for the borders:

Has anyone heard if Sinta and Sherri will continue Another Year of Schnibbles in 2013?  I'm ready, if they do!   Who could resist BasicGrey's new collection, "Kissing Booth?"

One of my great-nephews missed out on the "12th Birthday" quilt, so I picked up this beauty at Suppose quilt boutique in Preston on my most recent trip to Idaho.  Unfortunately, the kit doesn't contain enough fabric for a queen-size quilt.  Lucky for me, Kathy had enough of the Kaffe Fassett stripes to make up a second kit, sans pattern.  Also lucky for me, his birthday is in December, so I have a whole year to make this quilt!

I pre-ordered this book from Amazon and it about killed me not to buy it when I saw it in the store before I received my copy:

So fun to look through and say "Hey, I read her blog!"

Can you believe the newest Miss Rosie's Quilt Shop pattern requires Flying Geese?  I tell you, the Universe is conspiring against me:

I ordered the rulers that Carrie recommends.  We'll see if they can make me like Flying Geese!

Now, I didn't buy ALL my own Christmas prezzies!  Look at this adorable chicken made by friend Mary:

It's a pincushion!  Can you see the matching pink scissors?  Too cute!

I ordered these Fimo people from the daughter of Randi, owner of FreshSqueezedFabrics.  I planned to give them as gifts, but really, they are so cute . . . .

Aubrey even made an "Aunt Marti" figure.  DH says the purple one is a teletubby -- Tinky Winky.  We won't say why he knows that!

Here's hoping Santa brings you just what you want -- surprise or not!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Friday Finish: Happy Solstice!

Each season, Karen Snyder of Anna Lena Land hosts a "Block-a-Day" QAL challenge.  For Autumn 2012, the block is "Tessellating Crosses."  This is an easy block, conducive to strip piecing and using up a lot of scraps!

I made mine in black-white-and-yellow, based on a Jelly Roll from Benartex fabrics, "Lemon Tree."

Ninety 8" blocks and borders resulted in a quilt that measures 92" X 82" -- big enough for a full-size bed.

When I first started putting the blocks up on the design wall, I thought the tessellating pattern wouldn't show. But with all the blocks together, I like the secondary pattern of light crosses:

I am searching for a black, white, and yellow quilting weight thread to quilt this.  If I can't find it, I'll use black.  Or maybe yellow?  What do you think?

To celebrate, I'm linking up to Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished Friday, hosted this week by Karen at Sew Well Maide.

Getting caught up in piecing my Block-a-Day quilt, I have fallen sadly behind on my 30 Quilts in 60 Days goal.  Only one quilt quilted this week, and it's a baby quilt for my nephew's new baby girl:

There are 10 days left in 2012, and I have six more flimsies to quilt in order to meet my goal.  Can I do it?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday

A helpful hint:  If your BOM quilt has a "finishing kit," or sashing or setting blocks, make a few each month as you go along.  For one thing, it is fun to watch the "finished" quilt take shape.  For another, it's too easy to toss the blocks in the UFO cupboard and never finish the quilt when faced with (shudder) Flying Geese sashing!

I don't know how many quilters are making Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery BOM, but I bet it's a lot.  I love Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Modern.  So much, I'm thinking of adding some more blocks to make a Full-bed sized quilt and redecorating my guest room to match this quilt!  The turquoise in a lighter shade would be so soothing, and the room already has green carpeting that matches the green in this collection perfectly.

As of this morning, I am all caught up on my Designer Mystery BOM.  Here is the December block, Block 7, Moonlight Serenade.  It was designed by Sandy Gervais of Pieces from my Heart.  I even made the sashing for this row:

Here are all my blocks and the vertical sashings for the completed blocks:

More than halfway there!  Posting to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:


Now I need to get back to quilting and binding -- I've only quilted one quilt this week!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Tool: The Dreaded Flying Geese

It's no secret that I don't care for Flying Geese blocks.  It's not that I don't like the way they look, or that they are hard to make, or that they take a little extra care to make them perfect.

It's that, not matter what technique, ruler, or method I use -- the "wings" never come out even across the top.  

Today, I want to share with you a method of making Flying Geese that requires no math, no measuring, and makes four geese at a time.

The Lazy Girl's "Flying Geese X 4 No Math Ruler" doesn't make sewing Flying Geese blocks easier.  It just makes it faster.

The Flying Geese X 4 ruler is marked for twelve sizes of geese.  Simply select the size geese you need, and cut one square on the corresponding solid line:

This will make the "body" part of the geese.

Next, cut three squares on the corresponding dotted line:

These are the "wings."

For the "Easy Street" mystery, I wanted "scrappy" geese, so I cut the two larger squares from different fabrics, and used six different blue fabrics for the wings.

Place the smaller squares on opposite corners of the large square and draw a line diagonally from corner to corner.  Then sew a scant 1/4" on either side of the line:

Cut on the line and press toward the small triangles (the "wings" of your geese):

Again, because I wanted "scrappy" geese, I made two sets at once.  That way, I will get eight different geese.

Next, place a third smaller square at the "empty" corner of the geese "body," matching up the raw edges.

Draw a diagonal line corner to corner on the smaller square and sew a scant 1/4" seam on either side of the line.  It is important to begin your stitching line exactly where the small squares meet -- this will improve the chances of your geese's "wings" being even:

Cut on the line and press toward the smaller triangle:

Remember, each large square makes four geese units, so count accordingly!

It will be easier to sew your geese together if they are trimmed to the exact size.  Eleanor Burn's small Flying Geese template is the right size to trim the geese for Easy Street.

Even taking all these photos, I had my 64 geese in less than one hour!

Did you know a group of geese is called a gaggle?

Tomorrow is WIP Wednesday, and I have another Designer Mystery BOM block to share, along with some of the setting blocks.  

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Mystery and BOMday

I know I'm not the only one following Bonnie Hunter's "Easy Street" mystery.  There were more than 240 participants in last week's linkup!  So before I share the ubiquitous "purple flying geese" photo, I'll show off my most recent Designer Mystery BOM blocks.

I ordered the setting kit.  Guess since I'm now halfway finished with the blocks, I should start on the setting, huh?  Except it has a whole bunch of -- you guessed it -- FLYING GEESE!!

I'm quite proud of myself for keeping up with the Easy Street mystery.

Yesterday I made another gaggle of flying geese, using a new method:

And cut 145 squares from the green fabrics.  My greens aren't quite as yellow as they look in this photo:

Linking up to the Easy Street Mystery Part 4 linkup.  And also Plum and June's "Let's Get Acquainted" linkup.

Plum and June

Tune in tomorrow for a Flying Geese tutorial, using the Lazy Girl's "Flying Geese X 4 No Math Ruler."

From the desk of your auntmartisignature