Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back In the Saddle Again...the Quilting Saddle, that is!

Well after a week or so sabbatical due to all the cleaning and organizing of my quilting/sewing studio AND the arrival of my belated Christmas present, I'm finally finished setting up almost 98% of it and thought I'd share a few pics of the progress to date.  Soooo, here's my 1st practice project on the new-ish HQ16:

It does gorgeous stitches, here's a close-up using the manual stitch mode without the stitch regulator:

And another view from a different angle:

I couldn't resist taking just one more grand finale shot:

Don't know when I'll get back to finishing up the Orca Bay Mystery quilt but will have to be soon if I'm to finish by my original goal of January 31, 2012!

So as I always say, if I'm to finish, best get back to it...

PS...I tried repeatedly to upload all the pics to no avail w/slloowwww internet - will try again sometime tomorrow.  Until then, Good Night...

PSS...UPDATE - As you can probably tell, was finally able to upload all my latest pics even though my net connection is still slloooowww ;-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Making Progress on Orca Bay Mystery Quilt (Revealed)

For some reason my brain is committed to only cutting/sewing half of everything this week, including various parts of our Orca Bay Mystery Quilt (now revealed and NO longer a Mystery ;-)  So for now I have enough 'parts' to show off one of my blocks.  Drum roll Please and Thank YOU!:

The pattern is much more visible in the photo than it was on my pressing mat.  Makes me want to get back to it even more.  I now have everything ALL cut out and ready for the sewing machine.

Here's the rest of the 350 HSTs w/wings cut out and ready to sew:

I've even decided to use Bonnie's famous phone book paper piecing method to finish up the rest of my red string blocks (I had strip pieced and cut the strips into blocks and then triangles for the first half, thinking I would be saving time ;-).

Alright, I'll admit it.  Just did my very first paper piecing string block and I must say I actually enjoyed it - even liked it.  Just goes to show about preconceived notions and all that.  I really did not believe I would ever like paper piecing but life has a way of changing one's perspective every now and then doesn't it?  I just got a bushel basket full of old phone books after cleaning out for the New Year, that prior to this Orca Bay Mystery quilt challenge, I would've just tossed them.  But knowing what I know now, I couldn't bring myself to do it and really thought I would be using them on 'another' quilt in my future - that was before I realized last night I didn't have enough of the red string blocks after cutting the strips apart and counting - who knew?!  So once again, change is good and it's a New Year...all I can say is...Bring It On ;-)

Anyway, got to get back to it if I'm ever to finish this year!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ring in the New Year - Orca Bay Mystery SOLVED!

I LOVE the final reveal of the complete Orca Bay Mystery Quilt.  I hadn't wanted to look because I was hoping to get further along on the progress of my 'catching up', but I could resist NO longer - it is absolutely GORGEOUS!

I am more motivated than ever to finish this quilt and have dedicated the entire first week of January 2012 to do just that.  (I run and fold a load of clothes/clean out dishwasher/mop a section of hardwood when I need to stand up and walk around, grab a snack and I'm back to it ;-).  I may not even take down my Christmas tree and/or decorations until I at least get the top finished!

The family is getting a little nervous (since I normally have ALL signs of the Christmas holiday removed by January 1, but this year is different.  Didn't someone once say, change is good?)

Anyway, for those who may be wondering, Yes I have made some significant progress.  Here we go.  Finished ALL the Ohio Stars, they are sewn/trimmed/pressed/stacked - all 56 of them:

And Why the two irons?  Good question.  Answer:  the fancy/expensive iron on the left got used ONE TIME before it quit last night.  This is the SECOND time I've purchased one of these irons in less than a year.  (I know, could've done the warranty thing, by the time I searched and found the warranty card, drove 14 miles to town and paid to have it shipped back, etc., I could have a new one ordered and shipped.)  The much less expensive iron on the right I've had for 5 years, don't really like using it as much as the one on the left, but it still works!  Don't worry, I won't be replacing the iron on the left with the same brand any time in this lifetime - how sad.  As a former dressmaker/custom sewing/alterations person, these irons were highly coveted back in the day.  I guess those days have come and gone.  Anyone know where I can get a good, dependable iron that will last longer than a day/6 months/heaven forbid longer than a year?!

UPDATE:  the fancy iron on the left mysteriously started working again last night.  It's plugged into the exact same surge protector as the iron on the right and when I flipped the switch on the power bar, both irons worked - go figure?  We'll see just how long this will continue to go on.  I'll keep you posted ;-)

And Yes, that is my beloved pooch's Christmas stocking still hanging on the fireplace mantle.  Didn't I mention before that I'm dedicating this entire week to sewing and finishing up the Orca Bay Mystery Quilt and I'm not taking down holiday decorations until I've finished?  But I digress.  Back to the subject at hand.  Made some more progress on the HSTs w/wings from Part V.  Got 200 sewn/pressed/trimmed (somehow I miscounted while cutting the wings, need to cut an additional 150 pairs - possibly didn't account for the 'pairs' and counted singles) anyway, here's what I have so far:

Even though the picture doesn't do them justice, these little beauties are just the cutetest, trust me on this...  But I still need another 150 w/wings - I love saying that ;-)

I have done NOTHING on Part VII or Part VIII, but I will, hopefully by tomorrow once I get caught up on Parts IV, V and VI, with the goal of finishing up by Friday, January 6, 2012!  So need to get back to my sewing/cutting Marathon - my idea of a GRRRREAT time!!!