Happy 2013

1 Jan

2013!  It’s time to reflect on the past year and make plans for this year.  I’ll spend the day doing just that and if I come up with anything interesting, I’ll share it here.  🙂

We spent New Year’s Eve like we always do – at home with the kids.  We each make an appetizer.  I attempted Red Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms.  They needed more garlic, butter and crab, but they were still good.  We played games – Farkle (a dice game) and Smart Ass Butt (it really bothers my children that the game has a swear word in the title).  Cory and Anne also spent the majority of the night with us.  We wound down with a bad movie from the 80s – Remo Williams.  My DH remembered liking it but I couldn’t get into it at all.  Overall, it was a nice family evening and once again, I made it to midnight.  Whew…

I might have begun a new piecing project….  I know…  Gianna yelled at me for starting yet another project until she saw it and fell in love.  Hey, I just finished a top – I’m entitled to start another one, right?

Left:  New Project - North by Northwest; Right: Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery

Left: New Project – North by Northwest; Right: Bonnie Hunter’s Easy Street Mystery

The one on the left is from the same book as the Tumbling Blocks quilt.  The book shows the quilt in earth tones.  It’s great looking, but my last couple of quilts were earth tones and I thought I needed a change in scenery.  It’s going to be scrappy blues and purples.  Those are 2″ finished half square triangles and for a 68 x 68 quilt I need just over 1000.  Yeah… Naturally, I got out the stopwatch app.  For one strip of white fabric paired with some scraps of the blues/purples, I can yield 20-25 units.  It takes 7 minutes to cut those; 6 minutes to piece and 7 minutes to press and trim the dog ears.  (Pressing is time consuming because I’m pressing the seams open because of the bulk when you put the blocks together.)  So that’s about a minute per square.  1000 minutes = 18 hours.  See not bad.  I already have 250 done and I started piecing some of the blocks (as you can see) to see how they look.  If I do a little each day, it will go quickly – or so I tell myself.  🙂

We are finally putting together some of the blocks for Easy Street – shown on the right.  Those are some pretty wild colors, huh?  I have those four corners done.  I need to make 12 other triangles – probably setting triangles?

I also started hand quilting a wall hanging.  I need practice, practice, and more practice before I get good at it.  I’m concentrating on relaxing when I’m stitching so  I don’t get my shoulders all hunched up and tense and have to go to more massages as a result of my “relaxing” hobby!

SONY DSC

So here’s my problem.  I pride myself in my invisible hand applique.  But as I ‘m outline quilting these clams, it’s pulling those seams up and showing the stitches!  What the heck?  Hand quilters out there – Do I have to stitch in the ditch to suck that back under?  Or will it relax on its own – maybe after laundering.  It’s ticking me off!

I’m really, really SLOW at this hand quilting.  First, I’m trying to do the rock stitch while the sandwich is hooped.  When I was attempting the big stitch quilting, I didn’t hoop it and I think that’s what messed up my left elbow.  I had the death grip on the fabric with my left hand and it caused tendonitis.  I timed myself – because that’s what I do – and it took one hour and 15 minutes to do one row.  That’s 11 clams.  Yep… 11 clams.  It’s going to be a LLLLOOOOONNNGGGG process, baby!  Especially if I have to go back and SID those stinking edges!

Any of you hand quilters out there who want to chime in on some helpful hints, please feel free!  I’ve watched some YouTube videos and keep trying to truck along.

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