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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Two hundred geese

... with all the trimmings!

Yesterday's On Ringo Lake clue looks like the easiest one yet, we just have to cut some HST's and combine them with the units we made in the last part.

I pushed out the last few flying geese last night, leaving a virtual bird's nest of  trimmed slivers.

But before I reached that point there was a lot of this ...

Chain piecing, building up a log-jam of 2-for-1 goslings!

... pressing and pressing, we got it done! 

With working on the ORL units, I haven't kept up with other things I want to work on, so I'm taking a few non-mystery days to play catch up.

I need to make at least one item before our January Bee, as a Christmas exchange.

Quilt blocks are being requested for the five or six Veterans who are members of our guild.  As a guild we make and donate so many quilts for Veterans that we don't even know, our own Vets should have a quilt too!

This Christmas quilt top from a Bee block exchange was completed back in February 2016, and it's been laying around since then.  I'd like to quilt it before our next Bee, I blogged about it here.  That exchange was in 2015, oh my how time flies!

The little wonky churn dash blocks that were gently nudged aside in favor of the ORL units are waiting in the wings, need to get a few more of those done.  Looks like my work is cut out for me! 

That's it for now have a great Saturday; sew forth and sew on ...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ringo assembly line

Is that a big omelet, or what? 

And two biscuits?

Whatever ...

Yesterday reminded me yet again that it's winter time, brrrrr!  There were a few snow flakes that I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been outside.

I bought a lot of sweet potatoes while they were on sale for 2 lbs/$1, and I put some in the oven while I worked on the flying geese for Part 5 of the On Ringo Lake mystery.  After peeling, I'll bag some of them and put them in the freezer (the potatoes, not the geese!)

I also put a beef stew in the crock pot, since it could cook while I worked.  I don't do anything special to my stew, I just coat the beef with McCormick's crock pot beef stew seasoning and flour, brown it in hot oil and toss it in the pot with water mixed with some of the leftover flour.  About an hour before it finishes cooking I add frozen veggies and sliced onions.

The geese are going together assembly line style: mark and sew a batch of 20, cut apart, trim, do it all again!  I like no-brainer work.

How many have I done?  Probably around 50-60, I dunno.  On the other hand I can work exclusively on this step because I finished all the Part 4 aqua/brown units!

I reached a point where I realized I was using the same dozen or so neutral fabrics over and over and over again, so I pulled a few more from the neutral bin to add more variety. 

I'll cut these today, then I'll be back at it until it's finished: mark and sew a batch of 20, cut apart, trim, do it all again!

Have a great Thursday, stay warm, sew forth and sew on ...

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The geese are flying over Ringo Lake!

Are we at part 5 of the ORL mystery already?!

It seems we just started; the clues are coming in fast, just like Christmas did!

All the units for parts 1 thru 3 are finished, and I made 120 of the 218 units we need for part 4.

And then I made 4 of the flying geese for part 5 just to get my beak in, so to speak.


I'm definitely using the Deb Tucker wing clipper for these geese, they fly along so much faster.

While we were working on the coral-and-neutral geese for part 2, I ordered a 4-1/2" Accuquilt die from Amazon.  It came too late for then, but I have it for now and boy am I glad I ordered it!

The die made cutting the 50 4-1/2" squares I need to make 200 flying geese a breeze!

Paired with my 2-1/2" die for the wings and I'm on a roll!

I'll join the Part 5 linky party over at Quiltville, so you can see what the dozens of other quilters are sharing.

Have a great Tuesday, sew forth and sew on

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

"I don't know what to do!  I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy.  I am as giddy as a drunken man.  A merry Christmas to everybody!  A happy New Year to all the world!  Hallo here!  Whoop!  Hallo!"
-- Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

... now I can get back to that binding ...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa rides tonight!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...
-- A Visit from St. Nick, by Clement C. Moore

Today I thought I'd share a post from a previous Christmas that I feel is so relevant right now!


When I was a kid, Christmas was definitely the best time of the year!  You see, I was born on a small farm in North Carolina and we didn't have a lot of store-bought things to play with.  We seldom got "store-bought" candy or "store-bought" toys or "store-bought" fruit. 

My mother made home-made cakes, pies, ice cream, fudge and molasses candy, but because it didn't come from a store, we disdained it -- while we gobbled it down!  We had apple, peach, pear, hickory nut and black walnut trees; white, red and purple grape vines, all the huckleberries, blackberries, melons, fresh veggies and cantaloupes we could eat -- but because they were home grown and not "store bought," deep down inside we really weren't as grateful as we should have been.  Little did we know!

So when Christmas time rolled around, we kids would be giddy with joy and telling each other "I know I was good!"  "Nuh-uhn, I was better than you!"  On Christmas Eve the older ones would tell us young'uns "You better watch out, Santa rides tonight!"  We knew that meant a candy cane, a toy if we were lucky, and lots of "fruit and stuff."  Now, we did have a fireplace but somehow we never expected Santa to come down the chimney, so we would "set a box" to collect our booty.  Sometimes we'd be in bed by 7 pm, waiting for Santa!

Sure enough, when Christmas morning rolled around we saw that Santa had come through one more time!  There were big grins aplenty, lots of sweet treats, and enough excitement to keep us out of mischief for at least a few days...

I think that our childhood memories are sometimes the best ones for two reasons - one is that we can recapture the feelings we had and relive them; the other is that we look at those experiences from an adult's perspective and see how precious that time of innocence really was.  We were forced to use our imagination because there were no iPods, Minions, Fingerlings, Hatchimals, robotic this or that... A stick could become a baseball [pine cone] bat, a pony if you straddled it, or a pogo stick if you held it straight and jumped high enough.

Times have changed and gotten more complicated, but memories live on.  So, this Christmas I hope we can all celebrate where we are right now in our lives, knowing that precious memories are still being created that we can pull out, examine, and be grateful for... not only by us but also by the ones we love.

Sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Spirit of creativity

This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas - as am I.  Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.
-- Santa Claus, The Polar Express

They say a quilter's messy work space is the sign of creativity.  In that case, I'm feeling very very creative lately!

But, it's actually organized chaos.  I can tell at a glance that I have two more mirror image sets to make for the rectangles, I have 4 sets of 10 wing sets ready to sew, with 5 sets needing the brown wings cut.

Organized chaos!

Meanwhile I'm done cutting the neutral and coral strips and I can put them away ... perhaps until tomorrow??

That's it for now; my post is a bit late today because I'm writing it after getting up at the wee hour of 8 a.m.!

Gotta get breffus now, sew forth and sew on...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some of this one ... some of that one...

As the Grinch took the tree, as he started to shove, he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.  He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who.  Little Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two.  She stared at the Grinch and said...
"Santie Claus, why?  Why are you taking our Christmas tree?  Why?"
-- Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Thank goodness the pieced triangle units in part 4 of On Ringo Lake are relatively easy, because I haven't finished all of the rectangle units in part 3 yet!

Still plugging away, but I have a plan:  I'll make 20 from part 3, then 10 from part 4, back and forth til I get all caught up.

To avoid confusion and keep count I've been clipping the rectangles together in sets of 10 mirror image pairs, need a total of 12 sets. Eight down, 4 more to go!

I got the idea of marking my sets with a cut up calendar from Wanda over at Exuberant Color;  clever, eh?

I think I like the combination of brown and aqua, and I especially like being able to move out some of those ugly brown fabrics that have been
hiding out in my stash!

The units go together easily, I've only had to pull out Jack the Ripper a couple times.

I'm linking up with the On Ringo Lake Mystery linkup so you can see what everybody else has done.

Have a great Tuesday, get that baking done, sew forth and sew on...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Closing out another great year

Marley was dead, to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Saturday was my guild's last meeting of the year, and also our annual Christmas party.  We celebrated with holiday music, and gifts, and hugs, and games, and certificates, and door prizes.  We got to see friends we hadn't seen for a very long time - including two members who came all the way from Georgia and California just to help us celebrate!

At every Christmas party, everyone is encouraged to bring a favorite dish, so there's always an abundance of great food.  From the main dishes ...
to the desserts ...
we enjoyed every crumb!

But before that, we had a wonderful eye candy banquet, in the form of show and share.  I've chosen a few from the many quilts that were shared.

Angela was very clever - she combined two retreat round robin projects into one lovely quilt.  Front ...
and back ...

Charley finished her HST challenge that's due in September 2018!

Jennifer's sampler.  Visit Jennifer's Chronicles to see more of her work!

Cynthia is very fond of miniatures ...

A lovely fish quilt, front...
and back

Katherine shared her portrait of an African male (above) and her watermelon quilt (below).  She gave a lively and informative "tell" regarding African Americans and the watermelon stereotype.

Jackie's getting creative again ...

and scrappy! 

And so another great year goes down in guild history, here's looking forward to an even greater year!  Have a wonderful Monday, sew forth and sew on...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Wreaths and mysteries

I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.
-- Linus Van Pelt, A Charlie Brown Christmas

Today is my guild's last meeting of the year, and our Christmas party.

I wanted to make some marshmallow Christmas wreaths ... well, it was a good idea in theory.  This is the kind of project that definitely needs a minimum of two people to pull it off!

See those little lumpy piles?  Well, they're supposed to be shaped like wreaths.  The mixture was cooling too fast and the shape just wouldn't cooperate!

See the one at the far left, second from the bottom?  That's how they all should have looked.

Nevertheless, I made two batches of em - 4-1/2 dozen!

Oh well, if eaten with the eyes closed, who's to know?

Here's my progress on part 4 of On Ringo Lake!

Have a great Saturday, stay safe, sew forth and sew on ...

Friday, December 15, 2017

The hurried-er I go ...

Oh, Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind... and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here, maybe I can do something about it.
-- Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

I'm at the emergency room again!??  This is definitely not a good way to end what started out to be a good day. I decided to go horseback riding earlier, something I hadn’t done in a really long time. With the threat of snow, but no actual snowfall yet, I figured it would be one of my last chances to ride this year. Well, it turned out to be a big mistake! I got on the horse and we started out slowly, but then we went a little faster and before I knew it, we were going as fast as the darned horse could possibly go. I couldn't take the pace and fell off. I caught my foot in the stirrup with the horse dragging me.  No matter how much I screamed, it wouldn't stop. Thank goodness the manager at Toys-R-Us came out and unplugged the machine. He even had the nerve to take the rest of my quarters so I wouldn't attempt to ride the elephant! 

Just a little funny I found on Facebook.  ;o)

After doing a few of the Part 3 units in one direction and then doing another random bunch, I've found that probably the most efficient way
is to do 10 at a time of each direction then pin them into a matched set. 

Does that make sense?

It seems to be working; at a glance I can more easily see what I've finished. 

So far there are seven matched sets - two completely ready to use, five to be trimmed. 


I wonder what Bonnie has for us today ...

I got an email notification from Verizon saying they've added a new "Spam Alerts" feature to my home phone's Caller ID to help me easily identify unwanted phone calls.  Well, I can do that already!  It's supposed to take effect on Monday - we'll see if it's any good to me.  Sew forth and sew on...