Mojo Monday--Too Much Excitement and a Few More Blocks

Last week I passed my oral review and submitted my final D.Min. thesis so it's just a matter of taking care of a few more bureaucratic details and I'll be graduating! Paperwork aside, I shouldn't have to deal with the thesis anymore, anyway, so it's free and clear for getting down to some serious fabric play!


However, there was some celebrating to do first. My brother-in-law was in from out of town so we spent a lot of time with family, and due to the timing, it turned into an impromptu celebration of the thesis submission too.  I thought I'd share this pic from one of the family events--this is one of my nieces and her (recently officialized) fiance. He's been part of the family for years but now we can all for-sure commit to him! He's a great guy, so we're thrilled.

I'm sharing this photo with you so you have faces to put together with what will soon become a continuing project you'll be following for awhile. They tell me I have a couple of years before their actual wedding as she's working on her masters in nursing and he's trying to work his way up the ranks of chef-dom. I'm not going to waste the time!


It was a great celebration but then Auggie threw a monkey wrench in the works by deciding to play with a skunk after we got home later--much later--that night. 

Goofy dog. He's celebrating his first birthday this weekend by making himself as obnoxious as possible. (Puppy brain in adult body. We have another year of this before he starts actually making smarter decisions. But even at that, they're only "smarter" in the range of Golden-dom which is a fairly narrow range.)

I was already pretty wiped out from a long week and a late night and got to spend time giving him peroxide-baking soda-Dawn baths Saturday and Sunday. Three baths later and he's now bearable, but still leaves a bit of a trail of Eau d' Skunk as he walks by. Fortunately the weather turned nice enough that we were able to open windows and try to air things out. Still a little stinky, but livable.


However, by Sunday afternoon, after church and the third peroxide bath, I was able to sit down and get some more sewing done. I'm now up to about 13 blocks done on the Flying Home quilt (the pattern from Jenny Doan) with the Nest jelly roll. If I recall, I have to do 36 total blocks. They're not hard, but a little pokey. I can only chain-piece about four blocks at a time because I don't want to get mixed up which fabrics I've paired in which blocks. Random is hard. 

I have a quilt retreat coming up on the first weekend of May. I'd really like to have all of these blocks pieced before then, so I can use the larger space at retreat to do layout and piece the top. Other than that, I don't know yet what I'll be bringing to retreat. That's a problem for next weekend!

I'm hoping to get a podcast posted next weekend and I'll be able to give a review of a couple of different tools I've used in doing these, and my opinions about them. I like my episodes to be useful!

Mojo Monday--A Finish (plus one) and A Start


Sunday turned out to be a very productive day. Although I'd planned on going to church in the morning and running a couple of errands on the way home, Mother Nature intervened. It's not unusual for us to have ice storms in early spring, but they're normally a March event, not a mid-April one. Oh well. We bagged all ideas of driving anywhere and, fortunately, didn't end up losing power either. So I was trapped inside with a working sewing machine. There are far worse fates!

I got a lot of other stuff done first--starting the process of switching from winter to spring/summer wardrobes (despite the ice outside), getting some random shelves cleaned and sorted, organizing some task lists, and the like. 

Saturday, while running errands, I had stopped at a former LQS that had closed and, shortly after closing, had been bought by someone else and turned into a new LQS. They've only been open a couple of weeks and I was curious. They're still largely empty--not a huge stock of fabric yet--but I did like her selections. A little heavy on the children's novelty fabric for the amount of stock she has, in my opinion, but a decent selection of other things. I know her offerings will expand and even out over time so I'm okay with it. I did pick up a few things as I'd definitely like her to stay open. Other than a big ol' can of 505 for some upcoming basting I've got on my schedule, I also picked up Deb Tucker's Wing Clipper ruler, some more mini-clips (have all three sizes now and find uses for all of them!), and the Nest jelly roll, because we all know how I feel about pudgy birds. I had no intention of buying another jelly roll but, again, I want her to stay open. Just doing my part for the local economy.

Pay attention, as part of this purchase becomes relevant again later.

On Friday evening, I had finished hand-sewing the binding down on one of the two baby quilts I have on my UFO challenge list for guild. I can now officially call it a finish. Although, hmmm. Just remembered I think I'm supposed to have labeled it too, which I didn't. Time for a "hand-written with a sharpie" label. 

I did an all-over meander with a medium-gray thread to blend. I'm never positive about how to quilt big panel picture things like this (Take the time to outline everything in the picture? Do big squares to avoid quilting over most of the picture? What?), so I just went for fast and easy. I do like the wrinkly effect it gives, though--makes it look cuddly. 

I started this a month or so before said baby was born. It'll be a gift for her first birthday in May. That's still legit, right? I'm just glad it's complete and off my cutting table!


Because I finished a UFO, that left my way clear to start a new project. Woo! I spent a few minutes cleaning off the shelves in my cutting table on Sunday, as I was pondering what new project to do. I ran across an old Crafty class project on learning to machine quilt (don't recall which class it was--sorry). I had completely forgotten about this--it's not really a UFO because I never had any intention of actually finishing it. Yesterday, I decided to finish off the edge with a quick zig-zag stitch (no binding) and hang it in my "Rogues Gallery."

I never completed this project because the borders were supposed to have another layer of small circles in the outside ring of the feathers. I did about 4" worth and called it a day. I knew this wasn't something that would ever be displayed in public and I'd learned what I needed to learn. So the zig-zag edging was good enough for horseshoes.


My Rogues Gallery is a display of my experiments, class projects, and other learning opportunities that aren't good enough for display in any public areas of the house, but serve to remind me of where I've been and where I'd like to go.

The Rogues Gallery is in the hallway leading in to my sewing room/home office. You can't see them from downstairs so it's not really a public display. Once in awhile I'll look at one of them to remind myself of a particular technique I haven't used in awhile. 

And yes, that's Chicken Butt hanging on the lower row towards the end. He's still my favorite. 

So now with a UFO finished and a second sorta-UFO-class-project off my shelf and hung up, I really felt clear to start a new project! The first step is, of course, deciding what to do. I chose to put the Nest jelly roll to work immediately as I'd love to have pudgy birds to curl up with whenever spring does actually arrive. I perused my "2 1/2 strip" playlist on YouTube and came up with this quilt from Jenny Doan. I'm using some tone-on-tone white from my stash, so even though the jelly roll was a stash addition, I'm still making a dent in my actual stash! So...stay tuned!

Mojo Monday—EQ8 Update


I could’ve done some sewing on Sunday. I spent a couple of hours on my thesis after church and still had free time in the afternoon, but that hour clock change hit me like a ton of bricks. I was yawning all through church (which is tricky now that I’m singing in the choir!) and by the time I was done with my thesis I was definitely dragging. I tried to take a short nap to see if I could regroup, but it only marginally helped.

So, instead of sewing and risking messing something up, I just played with EQ8.  

Mostly, I decided to work on my fabric libraries. Several years ago I had scanned a bunch of my stash fabrics to include in my EQ fabric library (I think it may have been when I first bought 7 but don’t recall). I wanted to move those into EQ8, plus the Stash collections I had purchased back then as well. I figured out how to do that and then downloaded some freebie fabric collection images from Moda and added those to libraries too. 

Then I treated myself to a couple of EQ8 add-ons. I had Kimberly Einmo’s Jelly Roll Quilt Magic for EQ7, so that’s reinstalled for 8 now. Yesterday, I added her other two EQ programs, Jelly Roll Quilts & More and  Clever Combo Quilts. And then I just played with pulling some of her designs into EQ and coloring them with fabrics from the libraries I’d built.

I’ve got some free evenings this week so once I’ve caught up on my sleep, I plan on actually powering up my sewing machine. 

Mojo Monday--Cotton Cuts Mystery Month #2 (and sundry)


I got month #2 of the Cotton Cuts Puzzle Mystery Quilt. Once again, I bumped it to the top of my projects for Sunday afternoon's sewing session in my fear of getting behind on the darn thing. It took me all of an hour to finish the four blocks. I probably could've gone faster but I was starching and pressing everything as I went to try to avoid a case of the stretchies.

Still, I love a quilt I can get done in only an hour a month!

Still loving the Portofino colorway. Can't wait to see how this thing will look once everything's together!


I'm still plugging away at the table runner project from the February Sew Sampler project. It's cute and fun! I've got all the blocks made. I had more work to do on my thesis yesterday or I would probably have gotten the whole top together.

Darn thesis.


I don't know why, but I always think snowball blocks are cuter in their un-pressed form. Maybe they look like little doggie ears to me or something. 


I also played around a little with the ruler included with the February Sew Sampler box, the Mini Simple Folded Corners ruler. Frankly, I forgot about it until after I already had the pieces all sewed together, but I did use it for trimming just to get used to the feel of the ruler. It'll take a little learning to figure out how to use it for realsies. I could see where it would come in handy, if I made a lot of a certain type of block. Right now, I don't, so it's lower on my list than some other specialty rulers I've had my eye on for awhile (ahem, Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool--I'd love to make a pineapple quilt). 

Plus I've been using the Aurifil Sea Biscuit thread from Sew Sampler on this project. Love it, as I usually do!

This past weekend, Craftsy had an unlimited-streaming-for-free deal so I tried out a few classes I'd been thinking about. I've been avoiding doing their monthly subscription deal because I didn't think it would really work out financially in my favor--and because I still own so many classes I haven't gotten to.

But after doing the streaming-for-free thing, I realized the major benefit to it: I can hop, skip, and jump my way through classes! There are several classes I'd been looking at but not buying because I was thinking, "I'm really only interested in that one aspect of it, not the whole class." When I was watching streaming for free, I was able to jump into a class where I wanted, and then skip the rest that I already knew. It was really, really helpful! So...maybe? How many of you have gone for Craftsy Unlimited? Why or why not? 

I'm getting a yen for doing another Log Cabin quilt--that's been my favorite block ever since my Mom first started quilting when I was a kid and I was beginning to identify different blocks by osmosis. Now, as a quilter myself, I love the versatility of it. I've done a small handful of log cabins and still would love to do more. I'm a huge fan of the traditional block, but I enjoyed Marti Michell's Better, Faster Log Cabin class on Craftsy, showing a few variants of the block (love the Greek Key). I also own her rulers and her class made me want to pull them out and give them another shot. I also watched portions of Fast and Flexible Log Cabin Quilts with Nancy Smith (I already own her strip quilt class). Put those together with a tutorial I saw on YouTube about QAYG log cabin blocks and I might be seeing my next project formulating. Great way to use stash fabrics I don't love--when you're only looking at a 1 1/2" strip of them (or so), they all look gorgeous!

For a change of pace, I watched bits and pieces of Startup Library: Hand Embroidery with Kat McTee. I would never pay full price for that class, and would be unlikely to buy it even on sale as I've already done a few different embroidery classes so I already know the stitches she shows. But I love the class sampler project, and you can always pick up new tips, so streaming would give me the chance to do that without paying for the whole class.

Basically, I'm undecided on the streaming thing. Let me know what you think!

Dang, but it feels good to be sewing again.


As a side note, Auggie had his "interview" and test run in a doggie day care Saturday afternoon. When I travel for work it's hard for my husband to get home to let the dogs out during the day and he always feels terrible about it. Princess Doggie is used to it and has a bladder of steel anyway. Auggie is still just a pup. Plus, by the time my husband gets home, Auggie is so starved for attention he's a bit insane in the evenings and won't leave Princess Doggie alone. So, for her sake more than anything, we're going to try taking Augs to doggie day care on days I'm gone. And I may just do it once a week even when I'm home, just to give him some doggie playmates.

He passed his interview with flying colors. And passed out when he got home.

(I'm out of town for work most of this week, but hopefully I'll be able to catch more sewing time next weekend!)

Mojo Monday Part 2—Hunting and Gathering

With thanks to Jaye of artquiltmaker fame for the phraseology...


I had planned to spend a lot of Saturday sewing but, while I was still caffeinating first thing in the morning, I got this text from BFF/BQF Katie. 

Who am I to say no? 

So (after a quick slog down of the rest of my coffee and getting myself prepared for public viewing, and some quick measurements of WIPs), off to the quilt shop—Mt. Pleasant Quilting Company in York, NY— I went. To move most of my UFOs forward, I did need to engage in the "hunting and gathering" phase for borders in a couple of cases, and backing in all cases.

I dropped an inordinate amount of money. But with the 25% off sale, I saved a lot from what I would’ have had to spend eventually anyway. I could piece backings from stash but I hate doing that. Once I get the top pieced, I want to move on as quickly as possible to the finished product. Plus, I generally do try to coordinate my back with my front in style and color. Frankly, backings are my least favorite part of the entire process, hands-down, so whatever I can do to expedite that part, I do.  

Grand total, I got what I needed to complete five projects. So I rewarded myself with a little extra.  

By the way, I’ve decided not to count fabric needed to complete current projects (backings, borders, etc.) in my stash-in-stash-out count. I always “shop my stash” first, but if I don’t find what I need, I have no choice but to purchase. If I didn’t buy it, I wouldn’t finish the project, and it’ll get used as quickly as possible. So I’m only counting the fabric I didn’t actually need in my stash-adding total. That blog post happens in a couple of days. But, on to the pretty pictures.


This will be the backing fabric for my current 9-Patch Pizazz project. It’s from the same line as the focus fabric I used on the front—in fact, it’s one of the two companion fabrics I used. I rarely stay matchy-matchy like that for my backing (I coordinate, but I don't always use fabrics from the same line) but since I had so many projects I was purchasing for, when I saw this I grabbed it to take one set of decision-making off the table. The line is Serenity by Daiwabo for Maywood Studio. I don’t recall for sure, but I think it’s 4 yards. 


I’m not 100% sold on this one yet. I really struggled to find border fabrics I liked for what I’m calling my Shabby Chic Jelly Roll Race. I was hoping for a large floral that would fit the same mood but the quilt shop had very, very few large florals to choose from.  

The fabric on the left (1 yard) was my final “settling for” possible border fabric. (Bear Essentials 3 by P&B Textiles.) It’s actually a lot closer to a darker tone of the rose colored strips than it looks in this picture. But I want to keep looking for a large floral while I'm finishing up other projects. I have another fabric from my stash I’d originally chosen as an inner border that, if I can find a good large floral outer border, I’d use instead of this one. It’s a closer colorway match. This new one is a good stash fabric one way or the other, though—so I’ll add it to my stash accumulation figure and then count it as used if it does actually get used.  

The fabric at the bottom is what I bought as backing. (Riley Blake Designs Pattern C4546.) I’d looked at it originally as contender for the border and it may still end up being that, but it is the perfect backing. Sheesh: Who’d have thought this JRR would end up being my trouble-child?


For my other Autumn Jelly Roll Race quilt, I found a border fabric that I love (far right), although I’m not convinced I love it for this particular project but it definitely works.  (Plush by Sandy Gervais for Moda). Since I don’t love this JRR to begin with, I decided that maybe having a border fabric I loved on its own would help. We’ll see. 

The light inner border fabric (between the JRR and the new border fabric) is from my stash. I don’t think it comes across as bright in person as it does in this picture. The fabric at the bottom is backing fabric purchased Saturday (Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini for Red Rooster Fabrics DSN #26104). I hadn’t noticed until I was folding it to put it on my shelves that it’s actually got a bit of a gold metallic thing going on with it—subtle, but works well for an autumn/seasonal quilt. It’s nice when you discover a fabric you bought works even better than you thought it would! 

I haven’t posted pics of these next two projects anywhere yet, that I remember. These are the two baby quilts I want to get done by March 1, given one baby will be turning one very soon, and the other will be about 5 months old by then.  You'll get full shots when they're complete.


This first baby quilt was made using the Little Golden Book Poky Little Puppy fabric collection. I’d bought it with a pattern years ago before I had any next-gen-babies in my life. It’s good to finally be able to use it. I still have to add the borders on this but I’ve already got them cut and ready to go. I only needed backing. 

The fabric on the left is what I found for that purpose Saturday (Jurassic Jamboree by Abi Hall for Moda Fabrics). This is a crib-quilt size, so I needed about 3 1/2 yards of fabric for backing because of the shape and size of the quilt and how I’ll have to cut the backing, etc. The footprints are actually dinosaurs, but who cares? The colors matched well and it’s just dang cute. 


This baby quilt got pieced at a retreat I was at in September, maybe? Last year February? I don’t remember how long ago it was now. 2017 is a bit of a blur. In any case, again, I’d had the Goodnight Moon panel and coordinating fat quarters for a few years and loved being able to finally use them.  

The blue fabric on the far right is stash fabric I’d already picked out to use for binding, but I had nothing appropriate for a backing so the project languished. Finally found the perfect backing at Mt. Pleasant (ABC Safari, Diane Eichler Design Studio by Studio E Fabrics). It’s not the same line, but the dots speak to the dots in one of the coordinating fabrics and the colors are perfect. 

I usually try to stay away from really light fabrics for baby quilts but I decided that it was too perfect to pass up and keeping it clean was the parents’ problem!  

So, those are the five projects I brought with me to the store to problem solve. Once I did that, I finally had to go back and look at a couple of bolts I’d walked by multiple times in my hunting and, every time I saw them, thought, “Holy cow, that’s just beautiful.” We all know, of course, that they’d have to come home with me. 


First, have you gotten the impression that I’m a sucker for a large floral, especially an abstract one? The fabric on the far left called out to me every single time I walked by it. (Main floral and deep rose linear floral are from the line Blushing Peonies by Robin Pickens for Moda Fabrics. Green is Flower Mill by Corey Yoder for Moda Fabrics.)

It’s hard for you to get the full impression of that floral without seeing it in person. It is literally such a large repeat that I can’t get it all in the picture at the same time. I got three yards of it, assuming it will end up as a border. 

The other two fabrics were right next to it and all three attracted me (1 yard each). They work together well. I could see myself using the green in the same project with the large floral (an inner border, perhaps), but I’m picturing the more linear deep rose fabric as a great border for an embroidery block in a small spring wallhanging. That's a definite maybe possible perhaps.

The owner of the shop pulled out the triangle mirror tool (do you have one? I do—handy!) to see how the large floral would look as a kaleidoscope and that’s a definite possibility. I did a Bethany Reynolds’ Stack and Whack years ago and I've always wanted to do another, but I’m not sure I want to chop up this particular floral like that. These three will likely live in my stash a little while as I ponder their best use. The green, by the way, works perfectly with the green fabric I got from my Cotton Cuts box last week—a nice happenstance!



What can I say? I love everything about this—the abstract design with a mix of geometric and organic shapes. The colors.  

How could I possibly have left it in the store? 

I was waffling how much to buy and one of the staff talked me into 3 yards as it will most definitely be a border fabric for something.  

I could easily use this as color inspiration to pull a bunch of 2 1/2” strips for a project out of my jelly roll books that I’ve been looking through. Or it would make a great fabric for another 9-Patch Pizazz type of quilt. Or something. I don’t care. It's mine now. I can love it and pet it and gaze adoringly at it any time I want. (It's True Nature by Flora Rowley for Red Rooster Fabrics DSN 26705). 

Oh, my. I haven’t fallen in love this hard with a fabric in a long time! 


And because I was there, and everything was 25% off, I did pick up a couple of other things.

I follow Sharon Boggon's Pintangle blog and recently bought one of her sets of crazy quilt embroidery templates, so I picked up her book. I do plan on getting back to my crazy quilt embroidery soon. I’m still learning how to “see” what stitches to put where, and how to combine stitches for different designs, and so forth. This book is wonderful for all of that. And the templates will help me have more consistent stitching.


The other is a storage tool I’d had in my shopping cart at the Fat Quarter Shop for awhile and hadn’t clicked the “buy” button yet. It’s the It’s Sew Emma Stash n’ Store. Again, at 25% off, I decided to support my local shop. I have good tool storage at my sewing machine (you saw that in an earlier blog post) and on my cutting table (3M containers to the rescue), but this will be great on retreats. I have problems with things “wandering” about on my sewing station when I’m at retreats. It’s remarkably stable!

Finally, it’s a long story, but I ended up stopping at another quilt shop (Chestnut Bay) that I hadn’t planned on but had to drive by it multiple times and finally succumbed. I've been there a few times before. It's small, but in addition to fabric she carries a lot of wool embroidery supplies, which don't exist in other quilt shops in the area. She recently remodeled and I was curious, but I really didn't need to spend any more money. Curiosity got the best of me the fourth time I drove by the place and I stopped to see the new interior. I felt bad about the fact that I mentioned to the shop owner that I had gone to the sale at other shop and really didn't want to buy any more (I was overtired and therefore over-candid), so I did buy some stuff. 


I don’t have solids in my stash—I’m not particularly interested in doing a full-solids quilt, although I never rule anything out. However, I do sometimes use solids alongside other stuff and, since I’ve got a boatload of jelly roll projects in my future, this jelly roll of American Made solids seemed like a decent idea. This shop has a ton of fabrics from the line. I don’t like the hand of Kona solids and, having heard Frances of Off-Kilter Quilt talk about American Made brand solids I was interested to try them out. They do have a much nicer hand. Getting a jelly roll was an easier decision at the moment than trying to figure out what solids I might actually want yardage of, and it'll give me a chance to work with the fabric to form a better opinion of it.

I also picked up a glue applique pen I’d been looking at, and a pack of micron pens as mine is just about dried out.  

So there’s my shop-hop expedition. I’m now ready to go full-steam ahead on getting some UFOs off my shelf! 

Mojo Monday Jan 29: Progress and Donations

File Jan 16, 3 36 19 PM.jpeg

My goals for last week were:

  1. Re-stash everything I've deemed re-stashable. 
  2. Finish piecing the top of the low-volume quilt
  3. Ditch anything I'm not finishing and isn't donate-able.
  4. Decide where to donate what can be donated.

It took me about three or four hours all-in, but I set aside a lot of fabrics for donation, and re-stashed fabric that had been set aside for, and/or UFOs of, projects that will never get done. And yes, I tossed some stuff altogether. I don't feel guilty at all. I feel liberated.


I didn't think to take a "before" picture of my fabric shelves, so this isn't quite as impressive now, but boy does it look a lot better! 

The fabric has always been sorted in piles like that, and by color, but the last couple of years took a toll on how neat it all looked. Also, in the process of re-stashing and donating, I looked at every single piece of fabric I own. There were a few that I thought, "Wow--that's really pretty! I'd forgotten about that one!" So I'm a little less bored with my stash at this point.


And what did I get rid of? 

1. A grand total of 41 1/2 yards of fabric (not all shown in this picture). That's a big WOO!!!

2. A whole bunch of scraps--those will show up in future quilts by Charlotte Hawkes, just you wait!  That's the bag you see leaning against the stack of fabric--I'll be delivering it to her next time I see her at our build meeting. 

3. Some scraps of pieced borders and such--things where I ended up with a whole lot more than I needed, so I'm taking them to our next guild retreat. If someone thinks they can use them in a project, fantastic. I'm just done with them and have no reason to have them hanging around any more. 


4. And this. This comes under the heading of "What was I thinking?" I bought this (4 yards) to make a jacket. Have I said enough times that I hate garment sewing? That is SO not happening.

It's a little on the "loud" side because I needed something fancier that had a certain mix of colors in it--it would've worked well in my work life. But it's not something I would probably wear otherwise. And have I said, I hate garment sewing?

Someone in my guild will probably love to make a table covering or something out of this. Fortunately I bought it at Joanns so it wasn't all that expensive.

My next organizational step is to tackle my books, but that's going to take awhile. Still, I have the deadline of my May guild retreat, which is when I'll be able to donate whatever I'm getting rid of (we have a silent auction), and I always work better to a deadline.

I had a lot of 1/3 yard, 1/4 yard, and large scrap pieces that I want to cut into 2 1/2" strips or other pre-cut sizes to make them faster to use in projects. I started the process last week and still have a stack of them left to do. I'd like to get that done sooner rather than later as they're taking up space on my cutting table--plus, I'm a firm believer in "putting the time in at the front end saves time at the back end." If I've got a little time here and there, I'd like to break fabrics down into easy-to-grab-and-use projects. 


Now, on to the UFOs.

I "offed" several of them, as I'd said I might in the last list. Of those that remain, I only have a few that have solid deadlines attached. If you want to see the results of my choices on the UFO list I posted last week, go to my WIP page on this blog: I'd sort of forgotten about that page for a long time but I just updated it with the current information. 

I decided to enter into my guild's two UFO-related challenges this year. One is just a straight-up UFO challenge, in which we list 10 that we want to complete. To enter, we create our lists and then put $5 into a kitty. Those who complete all 10 by December get their names in a drawing at the end of the year to win the kitty. Last year, no one won, so all that money went into this year's kitty. (I don't know how many participated last year--I only got to one guild meeting last year because of school.)

The other is a "Quilt Three" challenge, in which you list three UFOs that are at the quilting stage. You have to quilt them yourself--no sending them off to a quilter. (It's meant to encourage people who are nervous about the quilting step.) As long as you quilt them yourself, you can have the same three quilts on both UFO challenges. Woo! For the Quilt Three challenge, the entry fee is a fat quarter, and whoever finishes all three gets their name in a drawing to win all the fat quarters. Someone did win it last year so it's a fresh start for 2018.

So, my Quilt Three Challenge list is:

  1. Baby quilt #1
  2. Baby quilt #2
  3. Autumn Jelly Roll Race

My UFO Challenge list is:

  1. Baby quilt #1 (would like to have done in February)
  2. Baby quilt #2 (would like to have done in February)
  3. Autumn Jelly Roll Race (no deadline yet)
  4. Shabby Chic Jelly Roll Race (which I will likely quilt myself)
  5. Low-volume quilt (with deadline in February)
  6. Pillowcase for toddler (deadline in February)
  7. Halloween BOM (deadline by next Halloween!)
  8. Jelly Roll Sampler (will send out for quilting, no deadline yet)
  9. 2008 Guild BOM (will send out for quilting, no deadline yet)
  10. African Star (Might quilt myself or send out--haven't decided yet, no deadline yet)

So, for those of you playing along at home, that means that last week I finished goals #1, 3, and 4.

Goals for this week: 

  1. Finish piecing low-volume quilt. (Goal #2 from last week now moves into #1 status.)
  2. Finish cutting fabric for scraps. 

I'm keeping my goals limited because I'm not sure how much more piecing I'll have to do on the low-volume quilt. There's some figuring-out-as-I-go involved. Stay posted for more on that one.


Mojo Monday Jan 22: Assessing UFOs


This was the scariest part to do, so I decided to tackle it first and get it out of the way.

How many UFOs did I really have lurking, waiting to pounce on me with guilt? And which ones was I committed to finishing, and what would I do with the ones I was ready to pass along?

I dug through my shelves to find every single UFO I could. I'm generally very well organized but even so there were a handful that had gotten stashed in various places and I had completely forgotten about them. 

So, here's my list. I've used "code" names for some of the items below to remove personal identifiers. The parentheses indicate approximately how old the UFO is. "New" means it was created within the last month. I then indicate the stage it's in, mostly listing the next action that needs to be taken. If I've made specific decisions already about what I'm going to do with it, that's listed. If you just see the word "decision," that means I still need to decide what I'm going to do with it--if I want to finish it, re-stash it, trash it, donate it, and so on. For most of those, that means I have to dig into the project itself to see where I left things, how close I was to finishing, how usable what remains is, and so forth. I'll do that next.

By the way, for the purpose of this list, my UFOs aren't only those projects I've already started by virtue of actually cutting into fabric. I also have a bunch of labeled bins on my shelves with collections of fabric and patterns or notes about ideas. They were "in thinking mode," so to speak. Normally I don't count those as actual UFOs but in this case, I want to get anything off my shelf that's not going to actually get done, so they've made this list.

Sorting my UFOs....

Sorting my UFOs....

  1. Lo-Volume Quilt (new): Still piecing. Will finish in time to gift it in February.
  2. Baby Quilt #1 (new): Borders. Finish by March 1.
  3. Shabby Chic Jelly Roll Race (new): Decide about borders. May send out for quilting.
  4. Baby Quilt #2 (6 mos): Quilt. Finish by March 1.
  5. Autumn Jelly Roll Race (new): Decide about borders. May send out for quilting.
  6. Child Pillow Case (6 mos): Construct. Finish by March 1.
  7. Hand-dyed art quilt--flames (3 yrs): Quilting. Will most likely ditch this. It was experimental and I don't feel a pull towards finishing it.
  8. "Vickie's Peacock" (3 yrs at least): Quilting. Will finish eventually--no date set.
  9. Stonehenge Mariner's Compass (3 yrs): Quilting. Had totally forgotten this one and I really like it! Will finish eventually--no date set. May send out for quilting.
  10. Hand-dyed art quilt--circles (2 yrs): Decision: to quilt or embroider?
  11. African Star String Quilt (3 yrs): Quilting. Will finish, no date set. May send out for quilting.
  12. Jelly Roll Sampler (3 yrs): Quilting. Will send out for quilting this spring.
  13. Taupe Guild BOM (3 yrs): Quilting. Will send out for quilting this spring.
  14. Annie Travel Bag (2 yrs): Construction. Will finish this spring if it kills me.
  15. Guild Paper-Pieced BOM (5 yrs?): Decision--continue piecing or just do something with blocks I already have?
  16. Charlotte's Mystery 2015 (3 yrs): Had totally forgotten I'd ever started this one. It was buried under other bins. Decision--finish or re-stash?
  17. Crazy Quilt (in progress): Embroidery and beadwork. Will continue working on it.
  18. Halloween Embroidery BOM (in progress): Will continue working on it.
  19. Assorted Art Quilts: I lumped several bins into one UFO as none of them were actually started. They're in "idea" stage. I will most likely just re-stash everything. If the idea pulls at me enough I can find the fabrics again later.
  20. Pillowcase for DD (4 yrs): Construction. Will most likely re-stash and donate fabrics.
  21. Vicki's Rose (2 yrs): Construction. This was a UFO from a woman in our guild who passed away. I took it when one of her friends was offering her kits and UFOs to guild members. Realistically-speaking, I doubt I'd ever actually get to making it so I will pass it along again.
  22. Graduation quilt (4 yrs): Construction. Will re-stash and ditch the couple of blocks that got made (they're nothing usable by anyone else as I was experimenting with Fibonacci sequences and messed something else--hence the UFO status). The giftee graduated several years ago so this will never happen. 
  23. 2015 Craftsy BOM (3 yrs): Decision. Didn't really love the colorway anyway. Will likely restash it. 
  24. Felted Wool Project (4 yrs): Decision. Not sure it's my style anymore.
  25. Katerina Project (6+ years): Piecing. This UFO is the sole survivor of many "UFO purges." I designed it on EQ and still love the fabrics and love the design, but messed something up somewhere as the pieced borders really don't fit the center. So I need to do some serious problem solving. So this dang thing WILL get finished. I just don't know when.
  26. Embroidery applique (1 year): Embroidery. This was a quick little kit thing I bought and put together at a retreat with the intention of getting it embroidered before Thanksgiving that year. Didn't happen. I still like it, though, so it's staying on my list. 
  27. Tote and Purse bin: This isn't really a UFO, but it's a bin where I'd stored a bunch of fabrics and patterns together. I think I'd rather re-stash the fabric so it's more likely to get used, regardless of whether I make the purse pattern or not.
  28. Cubby in cutting table: Another collection of fabrics and patterns that need to be re-stashed. So #26 and #27 are more organizational notes to myself than UFOs.

So, if you're following along, that basically gives me four projects I want to try to finish in January and February.

  • Low-volume quilt
  • Baby Quilt #1
  • Baby Quilt #2
  • Pillowcase

Very do-able. 

This week I will:

  1. Re-stash everything I've deemed re-stashable. 
  2. Finish piecing the top of the low-volume quilt
  3. Ditch anything I'm not finishing and isn't donate-able.
  4. Decide where to donate what can be donated.