Chasing the Sun: Revealed

I’d just as easily be able to title this post ‘Holy crap, I’m done; Isn’t it Fabulous; Pass the Liquor!’ because one title can’t possibly cover all the emotions I experienced and am currently experiencing over this finished quilt top.

Today’s Clue #7 was It: the finale, the hoop-de-doo, the tada and I was determined to see it done by the time my head hit the pillow.  Now I’m too wound up to sleep!

If this is your first visit to the blog (um, where ya been?), I’ll give you a rundown of where it all started.

It started with a call for quilters to participate in a mystery quiltalong by a lady I am blessed to call my friend.  You’ll see her in a later picture.  Hold yer horses.  

Where was I?  Oh, yes, my friend, Deb’s, quiltalong.  

Our mission: find an inspiring sunset photo and pull all the luscious reds, oranges, yellows, etc. from said photo to be used in the mystery.

It was That Word that did it: mystery.

Ugh.  Me no likee ‘mystery’.  Know what happens when there’s mystery?

Bad decisions, bitter heartache and exes you’d rather run over with a Mack truck than lay eyes on ever again.

Sounds like my sophomore year of high school.

But then this happened.  And yes, I’m well aware it isn’t a sunset.

Andy and his Instagram account.  Look at those colors.  Sigh.  How could I not want to put that into fabric form?

I couldn’t.  And so, it was off to the LQS for fabrics because, obviously, I had nothing suitable in my stash.

I added my name and, boom, it was on.

Let me say now, the clues were simple and easy to follow and if it weren’t for work and dachshunds needing constant coddling, I could’ve had each one done in a day.  But, you know…dachshunds.

The arrival of the first clue was all about cutting.

And all the extra fabric hung on the coat rack in the entryway.  Isn’t that what it’s for?

As each clue progressed, the excitement built. Except for those flippin’ Unit As.  I still loathe them.

Yes, I labeled everything with a post-it note.  You say anal retentive like it’s a bad thing.

These units were just too weird.  And that purple.  Like a turd in a punch bowl.

On and on it went…block after block, seam after seam…to the point I started to feel like I was part of a Salt ‘n Pepa song.  Here I go, here I go, here I go again!  ðŸŽ¤

What is up with that purple?!

That, my darlings, was a screwup.  Whew, but this next shot looks way better.

Thursday arrived and Mom and I hopped in the mommobile and headed for retreat.  Yay, no dachshunds to coddle and I can pee alone!!

I finished up Clue #6 and waited patiently for the next.  Hahahahaha!  No, not patiently, but I was gifted a sneak peek of Deb’s finished CTS quilt.  Gorgeous!

I was caught up and waiting for Clue #7…but not for long!!

Throughout the day, I worked and toiled, like a fabric industry hooker.

Sew, sew, sew!  Do.  Not.  Slow.  Down!

Until, omg!, one last seam!!

And, boomshakalaka!, it’s done!!

That’s me in the pink tshirt, grinning like a loon, next to quilt designer and friend, Deb.  She’s a heckuva lady!

I have NEVER…never, ever, ever liked a quilt I’ve made.  I’ve come close a time or two (like contemplating committing a homicide).  This one I love.  And it’s mine.  All mine.

Thank you to Deb for the time it took to design this and for sharing it, free of charge, to all of us.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  And thank you for being such a sweet friend and awesome cheerleader.  One more seam!!

Thank you to Andy for letting the pushy American talk you into letting her use and post your photo.  I want to take pictures half as good as yours when I grow up.

I’ve consumed my celebratory liquor, gotten comfy and am ready to head back to the sewing room for more fabric fun.

Until next time.

Blogging, Quilting and Griping (and possibly cursing)

Do you know what happens when you go almost an entire month without blogging?  I do.  But you knew that right, that I already had the answer because, naturally, if I’m going to pooch screw something I’ll immediately get on here and tell y’all all about it.  Because why writhe about in angst and shame alone, amiright?!

For the love of Pete, all I wanted was to update about my progress on the mystery quiltalong.  Hey, I’m ahead this time!  And then, boom, there’s the payback for my chutzpah. 💥. The entire post was written and all I had to do was hit publish, but no, I had to go back and correct that grammatical error and poof, the entire thing swirled the bowl and was gone with a resounding flush. 🚽

So, here I am trying for Blog Post: The Redo.  Wish me luck.

Tomorrow is the day for another clue reveal in the Chasing the Sun mystery quiltalong of which I am taking part.  You can find the page on Facebook and join in…it isn’t too late!

This past clue is the only one I’ve managed to finish ahead of time, never mind that they’ve all been bite-sized and really manageable.  With me, there’s just no telling what’s going to happen.  Kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, only without Gump.  Or the chocolates.  Sigh.

At any rate, I’ve stitched up a heap and wound up with some bits, pieces, strips and even some blocks.  Some of the bits I can’t explain, like four strips of one inch blocks…🤔

And four of these purple thangs…🤔🤔

And one itty bitty square in a square…🤔🤔🤔

Best not to think on these things too long.  I need all the brain cells I can muster.

The first block to be completed was the Children’s Delight.  I’m still questioning the wisdom of the deep purple, but the instructions called for black, so…dark purple, black…same difference.

Golly, I love the orange Grunge…so much, in fact, that I went back and bought the rest of the bolt.  Hey, it was lonely in that shop!

Each of the clues has involved what the designer called ‘Unit A’.  After dealing with sixty of them over the course of virtually every single clue, I have renamed the little turds.  No, that’s not it.  I could tell you, but the sound of my mother’s voice enunciating not only my first name, but my middle name as well in That Tone that all mothers use, is the only thing stopping me.  Little bastards.  No, that’s not it either.

Don’t ask me what my problem with them is because I can’t tell you.  It’s like the adage about trying to define porn: ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it’.  I hate Unit A almost as much as Brussels sprouts and every sport except hockey (go Red Wings!)

In the end, what I’ve got (so far) are 4 Children’s Delight blocks, 16 Courthouse Steps and 60 eff…, I mean Log Cabin blocks.

There’s still a truckload of fabric left to be cut. Better hope no one comes to visit because there’s no where to hang a coat.

While I bide my time until tomorrow’s reveal, I’ve pulled out Double Delight by Bonnie Hunter again and am in the process of piecing 130 3 1/2″ nine patches.  Yes, that’s 1-3-0.

At least they aren’t Unit As.

The Quilt Front

Labor Day has come and gone and with it another clue in the Chasing the Sun mystery quiltalong.

The clues have been easy to start and finish in a weekend thanks to Deb the designer, who obviously knows what she’s doing.  However, I’m feeling a bit apprehensive because when Clue #3 hits the interwebs, I’ll be at work.  Yuck!  How I wish I could get the next clue early.  At least I wouldn’t feel so far behind by the time I get home Saturday afternoon.  But, no matter.  So far, I’m still caught up and that’s a great feeling.

These truly are gorgeous colors if I do say so myself.

The dark purple (in lieu of black) is throwing me off a bit and I’m trying to beat down that slight whiff of nausea that comes from thinking I may have made a terrible mistake in choosing it.  I guess we’ll see what we see, eh?

I even have a sewing companion guarding the foot pedal.  Or maybe she’s just trying to get in my way so I can’t sew and turn all my attention on her.  

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Happy quilting, y’all!

Getting a Clue: Labor Day weekend 

Unfortunately for me, I have to work on Monday, so in an effort to get as much done on the Chasing the Sun mystery, I’m really putting the cutter to the fabric and the pedal to the metal.

I got up this morning and discovered Clue #2 already posted.  Fortunately, the sub-cutting went very quickly and I’ve been a stitching and pressing fool for the remainder of the morning.

Unit D went together lickety split.

I’m really loving the orange Grunge. 🍊

Now, I’ve moved on to adding strips to last week’s Unit A and am sewing al fresco.  Is it really cool enough to be out here?  Negative, Ghost Rider.  But the hummingbirds are keeping me company and I’m out of earshot of whatever annoying Disney Channel drivel The Diva is watching.  We both win!

What are your weekend plans?

Chasing the Sun

After much preparation (read as: angst over choosing a photo and fabric) and anticipation (equal parts dread, excitement, and nervousness…I never said I was normal), the day finally arrived for the start of my friend, Deb Singer-Hayter’s, mystery quilt along.  Find her blog here.  And you can find the Facebook group at Chasing the Sun Quilt Mystery.  Why keep the fun to myself, eh?

I did all the responsible adult crapola Friday afternoon so there’d be no distractions come Saturday morning.  Clean floors, clean toilet, clean underpants.  Check, check, and check.  

No distractions, with the glaring exception of the dachshund, of course.  I’m pretty sure she’s plotting a revenge poo for being ignored this weekend.  Don’t let the face fool you.

I started out with ten yards of luscious fabrics, colors I pulled from an equally fabulous photo by Andy at @andymapp on Instagram.  I hope I take pictures half as good as his when I grow up.

Over the next hour or so, I stripped like a pro.  No bills in my g-string, though.  Just one tired fanny.  And the fabric yardage became this…

Then became subcut pieces…

That eventually, twelve hours later, became ‘units’.

There are three units in Clue #1.  Am I done?  Nope.  Although, I do have units A and B finished; unit C is almost there.  I’m seriously considering skipping meet the teacher night tomorrow just to get them done. 😬

Here’s a look at Unit A.

Unit As here under the watchful gaze of one very spoiled dachshund.

And Unit Bs on their way to completion.

This morning, the mojo had fled and I am one pooped mutha.  I figure I have until next Saturday when the next clue arrives, to get this one done.

Then again, with all the canine ‘help’ I’m getting, I never know when I’ll get finished.

Yes, that’s a dachshund on my dining table.  Don’t judge.

Until next time…

Calling All Quilters: an SOS

Just as I called for help for the victims of the West, TX explosion, I’m now calling for help for a fellow quilter who is gathering quilts for those affected by recent flooding in Louisiana.

You guys overwhelmed me with donations of blocks and completed quilt tops.  Will you help her?

Today, I met Wendy in the central Texas town of Meridian, with a couple quilts and some completed tops.  This is a sweet lady who is singlehandedly putting together quilts, as well as gathering needed household supplies for her fellow Cajuns.

You can find her on Facebook at Wendy Imdatwhodat Hendriex.

She’d appreciate any help you could offer.

Thanks, y’all!

Chasing the sun to England 

I’ve quite convinced myself that most of life’s enjoyable pursuits are like eating potato chips.  Why stop with one when a multitude will do?  Reading, ogling kilted men on Facebook, quilting.  All thoroughly enjoyable in mass quantity.

Where am I going with this?  Keep your shorts on. I’m getting there.

So, if you’ve kept up with me at all you’ll remember I’ve been hand quilting an antique top made by my great-grandmother and started another pieced top for a friend with cancer.  I really do try my best to start and finish a project, but as with a New Year’s resolution, those good intentions are soon swirling the bowl like that last goldfish you forgot to feed for three weeks as a kid.  Buh-bye.

Enter in my next project.  Sigh.  I tried to resist the siren’s call, but when it involves colors of sunsets and sunrises, how could I resist?  That’s right, I couldn’t.  And so, I chugged the koolaid like a coed at a kegger.  And it’s all Deb’s fault.

Want the link?  Here ’tis.  

So, starting August 27th, I, along with other koolaid drinkers, will be Chasing the Sun on a mystery quilt along.  

First up was to find inspiration.  I’d combed the interwebs for a suitable photo to pull quilt colors from and found lots of lovely stuff, but nothing to make my heart go pitty-pat.  I eventually made my way to Instagram and a favorite account I follow.  I tagged an obscene amount of his pics and then had to narrow it down to just one.  Check it out.

Shazam!  I’ve been following Andy, @andymapp, for a while now and love, love, love every photo he posts.  And I’ll admit to getting a bit grumpy when several days pass without a new picture.  Selfish beastie.

Anyway, my Mama always says you never know until you ask and so, I asked pretty please may I use your gorgeous photo?  And then I waited. And, obviously, because I posted his picture, he gave me permission.  Either that or it’s completely pirated.  Just kidding, I got the thumbs up.  Thank you, Andy. ☺️.  

Do yourself a favor and go check out his site.  It’s gorgeous, I promise.

Next up, was to choose fabrics.  I hit up my local quilt shop, Tomorrow’s Quilts, and got color help from fellow quilter, Tina.  Thanks again, Tina!

Eight fabrics.  And no clue what we’ll be doing with them.  Eek!

First clue comes out August 27th.  I’m so excited I’m hopping around like a toddler that really has to tinkle.  There’s a visual.  You’re welcome.

Time for something new

For now, I’ve shoved the quilting frame in the corner and taken up a new project.  I love hand quilting, but only in small doses and this is a honker of an endeavor.  

Nothing like going from lighter, solid colors to ‘hey, look, the quilt shop threw up!’ 

I love color.  Any.  All.  Make it so vibrant my corneas can’t take anymore.  ðŸ‘€.  The plan is a modified Jelly Roll Race top.  I’ve pieced all the strips end to end.  Now it’s on to piecing the top and using a quilt-as-you-go method.

I’ve even got the back pieced and ready to go.

As weird as it sounds and as much as I love each fabric in my stash, it makes me slightly nauseous to cut into a gorgeous fabric.  What if I don’t like the way it turns out?  Then I’ve wasted fabric! 😫.  Anyone else feel this way?

I hope to get it finished this weekend (fingers crossed).  In the meantime, I have a fistful of scraps to admire.  Golly, I love batiks!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Still at it *sob*

The hand quilting of Mary Ellen’s sunflowers continues.  

That sentence could pretty much be the blog post in its entirety, but I have this love affair with the English language so I’ll carry on for a bit.

Since the February retreat, I’ve accomplished very little on the quilting front.  It seems the quilt just doesn’t want to be quilted at home.  It needs my retreat buds as much as I do.  For an introvert, that’s a little weird, but there you go.

There are nineteen blocks, plus an abundance of sashing and nine patches.  I have finished the quilting on exactly one block.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s a picture of my start.  

This isn’t a process I can rush because my stitches wind up looking like a drunken sailor made them.  Not pretty.  Watching TV while quilting is out because I get distracted.  In a moment of weakness I thought I’d watch some Outlander and manage to keep on task.  *Graham McTavish, slobber, stitch, slobber.* What a truly stupid idea. 🙄
Pandora and some earbuds seem to be my best bet.  Classical for smooth stitches; ZZ Top for when I want to look back and wonder where I went wrong.  In the words of my grandmother: they’ll never notice it on a galloping horse.  Alrighty then.

Anyway, some progress has been made.  

From the first outlines of the petals, flower center, and three concentric rings…

To the beginnings of a crosshatch design…

To a completely crosshatched block.

Tomorrow I’m having a quilt-in with my Mama and a friend so maybe I’ll get more done.  My needles are loaded and ready to go and I’ve even made the first stitch.

Here I go.  Again.