Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dusting off the cobwebs - welcome 2010!

Yes I had to get the broom out and clean up around here – update the background and figure out what I’ve been doing the last 2+ months. I had a work crisis that started last November and took up a huge amount of my time (and sanity) up until the middle of December when I went out on vacation/holiday/unpaid furlough for a total of a month! It was WONDERFUL excepting that I had to work an hour or two each day I was on vacation or holiday. During a week of unpaid furlough the first week of January (cost cutting measure by the company) the company was not allowed to call me for anything so not being paid for one week didn’t faze me a bit – it was worth the peace of mind!

A month away from the office is the longest break I’ve had in 25 years and I took full advantage of it. There were Christmas preparations and shopping and baking of cookies. DH and I had a nice Christmas and New Years and celebrated some family birthdays as well along the way. DH surprised me with a lovely amethyst-pendant necklace for Christmas which I love. I did a lot of sewing after the holidays….I rested…I watched DVD’s…I started reading a biography of Andrew Jackson…..I spent some gift certificates….I went to see ‘Young Victoria’ at the movie theatre….I cleaned my sewing room and generally had a lovely time! I really didn’t stitch all that much as I tend to have trouble with my hands in the winter and didn’t want a repeat of last January’s arthritis flare-up.

Drum roll please……….I finished several quilt tops ready to go the long-arm quilter! A few of them had been sitting almost done for some years so I got them out and finished up the borders or whatever needed doing, made up the backings and bindings for all of them and they are hanging neatly on hangers until I start sending them out to be quilted.


I no longer want to attempt machine-quilting my own quilts unless they’re small things. The last one I did took me forever. I would rather pay the money for someone else to do them - they look better and I can spend my limited time on something I enjoy more. My recently finished tops are below - it's hard to photograph quilts - either they need to be hung up, on a bed, or you need someone with arms the size of Michael Jordan to hold them for you! I laid all these on my guest bed to photograph them.

This scrappy nine-patch below resulted from a year’s worth of exchanging nine-patch blocks with friends. I really like how it turned out and it’s destined for the bed in the guest bedroom.

Next up is an applique Christmas quilt whose applique work I did some years back but never got around to putting on the borders. This design is called “Christmas Memories”: and it was published some years ago by Barb & Alma at Blackbird Designs. I hope to send them a photo of the finished quilt once it’s quilted. I had forgotten how BIG this quilt is – it’s queen sized but it should look nice hanging on the red accent wall in the family room. Sometimes I can’t believe I actually did all that hand applique! I love the border fabric.

Next we have a flannel redwork quilt that was started many years ago. I don’t know why I never got around to finishing it. The redwork embroidery doesn't show up real well in the photograph but they are all animal-themed weather vanes from a book by a local quilt-store owner. I made up my own block with the dog outline to represent the Sheltie we used to have named Elvis. He died 6 years ago and he was so dear to my husband and I maybe that’s why I put the quilt away for awhile. Anyway, it is going to get quilted and displayed finally this year!

The quilt below is a design called "Radio Flyer". It's by Carrie Nelson of Rosie’s Quilts and “Schnibbles” fame. I started it a few years ago but I must say it was not fun to make – a lot of work and too many seams to match up. It was made from a Moda fabric collection but I'm not liking the fabrics as much as I did when I purchased them a few years back. But….at least it’s done.



This last top below ("Jane Street") I had already finished last year but I needed to get a backing & binding together for it which I finally did. I love the feminine colors and it should go nicely in my aqua & pink sewing room.

What thrills me the most is I have my list of WIP/UFO quilting projects down to FOUR! A few years ago I had about 20. Two of the four left I just started last year so that’s not bad, and another one is a Christmas wall-quilt that I am hand-quilting. I’m about 70% done with the quilting on it so hope to have it finished soon. I vow from here on that I am not having more than THREE quilting projects going at any one time. I hate having stacks of UFO’s and WIPs around – it stresses me out and makes me feel guilty.

On the stitching front, I am almost done with my 'English Sampler' that I started FIVE years ago when I took at class for it at Attic Needlework. I had planned to finish it in 2008 and then 2009….and well…here it is 2010 but I’ve already stitched in the month and year of completion so it WILL be done this month no matter what! I am just finishing up the lacis work which is slow going for me and not very enjoyable. I hope to post finished photos later this month.

I’ve picked up my Plymouth Sampler again. I never really got going on it very well last year – it seemed that top border would NEVER get done. Once I got past that things seemed to go a lot better and I’m enjoying it now. My WIP/UFO list of stitching projects is much larger than I wish it was – I’ve got 11 things going and that is too many. Unfortunately, most of them are big projects so I can’t expect many finishes anytime soon. I did work on Quakers & Quilts some in December and this is where I’m at so far.


I haven’t picked it up in a month but hope to get back to it next week. I didn’t do any new holiday starts – just didn’t want to add another project to the WIP basket! Not that I don’t have dozens and dozens of charts I’d love to stitch….but we’ll see. I’d like to have a finish before I start anything new.

I’m still trying to get around to everyone’s blog updates. I finally got everyone set up to 'follow' which took me awhile as I read about 130 blogs! I’ve seen so many wonderful Christmas ornaments over the last month and enjoyed seeing some of your “stitchers year in review”. I worked hard all year but didn’t have as many finishes as a lot of you! I’m looking forward to a better year than last – 2009 wasn’t terrible but it had its stressful times and I am hoping for a more positive year ahead. I wish good health, happiness, and many finishes for all of you in 2010! I am thankful to be a part of this online community of friends sharing the things we love.


23 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting through a lot on your WIP list. Your quilts are gorgeous!

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  2. I love your quilts, they are just wonderful. I was admiring all your stitching WIP as well. All just lovely work.

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  3. B-E-A-Utiful!! Jeanne, wow! You sure did get a lot done during your break! Good for you for getting all those quilts ready to go. They're too beautiful to sit in a UFO pile. All that time doing the hand applique on that BBD quilt shouldn't go to waste. I can't wait to see them when they're finished--wow. The block for Elvis is so special, too. We nearly got a Sheltie but in the end, the Cavalier KC breeder had pups and that was that!

    Love the stitching WIPs, too. Beautiful! I'm so glad you're back! Best wishes for a happy new year.

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  4. Oh wow! What a lot of lovely quilts to drool over! And how exciting that they will be quilted soon and all done! Love it! Nice WIP as well. Glad to see you back!

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  5. I know that you are LOVING having all of those quilts ready to be finished for good! I have several waiting to be quilted...and I'm so anxious!

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  6. Wow! What more can I say? Not being a quilter I am in awe of what quilters do. I can sew but never got the quilting bug. I know what you mean about having too many WIPs and UFO's around. I feel the same way so I really limit my impulse purchases these days (helps to save money too!).

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  7. Oh my! I am drooling all over your gorgeous quilts! You have been sooo productive...congrats on your gorgeous finishes!

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  8. Your quilts are beautiful. I especially love the scrappy nine-patch. How wonderful it must feel to have finished so many quilts.

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  9. What an awesome accomplishment getting through all those WIP's! I love all your quilts.

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  10. Good to see you posting again! I love the nine patch quilt! All your work is beautiful.

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  11. Congratulations on getting your UFO pile down. I love the nine patch

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  12. Wow oh wow, love all the quilt tops, I think the Radio one is my favorite :-).

    Glad you had an enjoyable time being off work, sometimes it is just so nice take a break. Didn't you love Young Victoria, it was such a good movie. I really enjoy period pieces.

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  13. Good job on the WIP list. I love all ot the quilts, they are all so different, but soo beautiful.

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  14. Wow! What stunning quilt tops! Looks like you used your month off wisely!

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  15. My goodness!! You HAVE been busy!!! Thanks for the comment on my blog.....I will look forward to your progress on Quakers and Quilts!!! Faye

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  16. Great to hear from you! I just love the quilt tops!!

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  17. Hi Jeanne ~ Great to see you blogging! It was wonderful to scroll through the pictures of all your wonderful quilt tops! They are stunning, even the one you didn't enjoy making as well.

    I appreciate your comments about sending the tops out to a longarm quilter - I am leaning that way myself. It took me so many hours to finish up a lap quilt for a Christmas present, that I had no time left to make any ornaments for Christmas. There is only just so much free time. And we have to keep the long arm'ers in business too!

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  18. Wow, you've done an amazing job at getting all those quilts finished - every one of them is just lovely :D

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  19. good to see you back Jeanne - glad you were just having fun during your break and WOW - obviously getting a lot done. Love your quilts - the BBD one is stunning but they are all wonderful - that one is just my personal fave - Yep that those borders on Plymouth will get to you - I save them for times when I am tired and just want to stitch a bit and not think too hard - fill in work is great fo that. Good luck with all your lovely WIP;s this year. Melody

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  20. gorgeous quilts Jeanne! I am glad to see you back, was getting worried, but know how the holidays can be. :) don't worry about your 11 wip's/ufo's, i had about 60+ at the beginning of 2010 but have knocked it down by a few. LOL

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  21. Oh WOW absolutely stunning, the quilts are gorgeous and your stitching is beautiful. I imagine you feel really refreshed after your break. Thank you for sharing.

    Peg x

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  22. Hi Jeanne, I was so glad to see that you have a blog, I have lost many of my e-mails and you where one of them. We were in a Round Robin together several years ago. I love all the quilt tops you have done, I especially like the Christmas one - And too all a goodnite - it is beautiful.

    Have thought of you often - especially when I receive the newsletter from the Attic. will keep your blog on my list.

    Roberta

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  23. Oh Jeanne, I was drooling over all your finished quilts. They are fantastic. Congratulations. I have never started a big quilt, I'm just doing small quilted projects. But when I'm retired I'll be compiling my first big quilt. Not such a long time until then ...

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Thank you for stopping by - I love hearing from other stitchers and crafters. If you have any questions be sure to leave an email address if you don't have one in your blogger profile so I can contact you. I appreciate your visit! (I've had to turn off allowing anonymous comments due to spammers)