Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Street Clue 4

I've been doing my best to keep up with the clues for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt "Easy Street"....working steady and strong.  I'm almost completely caught up, but at this point I know it's not going to happen until the new year.

I have about half of the last clue (#4) complete...

My 64 purple flying geese with turquoise wing tips are completed...but I still need to trim the dog ears and sew them to another earlier completed clue.  I also need to cut out the lime green squares.

Clue #4 would probably be 100% complete had I not been "behind" on Clue #3 from the previous week.  I did finish that part this week also....

Alas...I still need to trim the dog ears from this clue also. :)

Sadly, as of this moment, I'm temporarily putting away everything "Easy Street" related in order to finish the last remaining Christmas gifts.  I MUST complete two gifts by this Friday when Ray and Kirsten take a quick weekend trip to see his parents in Pittsburgh.  While they are away (and I'm watching the dogs), I will also be completing 3 more gifts needed by Christmas Eve!

It looks like our oldest daughter and her family will be coming to visit us two days after Christmas which means I must put EVERYTHING away in my sewing room because it is needed as a guest room.  My youngest grandson just turned two years old this past September and he loves to touch, disassemble and "work on" anything he can reach.  This means all my sewing machines must be put away in their cases, all cutting tools completely hidden.  I'm sure you get the picture.

Hopefully, I will be able to pull everything back out and get going again around January 3rd....unless I need more time to recoup from having the entire family together for an entire week. :) :)  I'm really looking forward to having everyone home at the same time for the first time in several years!!!!

I hope it won't be too difficult to play "catch-up" at that time and be able to complete the mystery quilt along with all the other quilters around the world.

You can keep up with the progress of many other quilters participating in the Easy Street mystery by clicking on this link....

Until next time....
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

128 Flying Geese Complete & Other Stuff

Yippee...finished the 128 flying geese units that was considered our clue #2 in the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called Easy Street.  All I need to do is clip the dog-ears off to consider them completely finished.

(Side note:  It's still not too late to jump in and make the quilt along with all the thousands of Bonnie Hunter fans across the world.  All the "clues" so far (there are three at this point) can be found at:

While I finished sewing up the above 128 flying geese, I sewed on some of my Tennessee Waltz units as my "leaders & enders".  Just look at how far along you can get without even realizing it simply by having a different project to the side of your sewing machine to lead or end with....

Are you familiar with the term "leaders & enders"?  It's really simple...when sewing together small quilt pieces...rather than have all these irritating long strings of thread at the beginning and end of each individual unit (and then taking the time to cut the long threads off) simply maintain SOMETHING under your needle at all times so that you are basically sewing a never ending piece.  This is also called "chain-feeding/sewing".  You sew one piece and rather than pull it away and clip the thread, you just add another item under the pressure foot.  Another don't waste any thread.

To help me keep count of my flying geese units, I would sew 10 flying geese seams, then "end" that section with one Tennessee Waltz block.  While the Tennessee Waltz block was under my needle...I clipped the flying geese away, clipped them apart, pressed the seams, then brought them back to the machine and started feeding them through the the machine again for the second seam in construction.  In other words, I'm killing two birds with one stone. :)

Today I plan to cut out the pieces needed for Clue #3 that was released this past Friday.  Now we get to play with the Turquoise fabrics we chose (if you are using Bonnie Hunter's color suggestions that is)....or whatever color you like best for your own selection.

Here is my assortment of Turquoise fabrics....

My daughter Kirsten came in the other day and saw all the fabrics I planned to use for this mystery (Lime Green, Turquoise, Purple, Grey and Black on White prints) and claimed this quilt for herself. :) :)

With this next clue we will be making 64 shaded 4 patch blocks using turquoise triangles, purple squares and black on white triangles.  I don't recall ever making this particular block before so I'm looking forward to learning something new.

Now it's time to get to the cutting board!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boo Boos, Klutz Gloves & Flying Geese

I've been hesitant to admit to the world just how "klutzy" I was about a week ago.  I have been using a rotary cutter for as long as they have been on the market and never had an "oops" moment UNTIL last week.

In my excitement to get started cutting out the first pieces for a mystery happened....the never imagined, can't believe I just did that, split second slice of the rotary cutter with my left pointer finger hanging over the edge of the ruler ever so slightly.....but just enough to.....

Yessirree....OUCH....blood pouring out....sick, gut feeling that I may have just cut the tip of my finger off....running down the hallway to the bathroom....throbbing PAIN!!!!

I'll leave the rest to your imagination.  :)  Thankfully, dear hubby was home and knowing my over the top fear of requiring medical attention, even though the cut was deep, it was clean and so he proceeded to doctor it up himself....hoping it would work and start to heal without stitches!

I have gone a week now with my left pointer finger sticking up in the air as I do anything and everything.  The constant throbbing ended after about the second or third day.  Now it only hurts if I forget and try to pick something up or touch it.  I have advanced to wearing "butterfly" band-aids in order to give it fresh air to dry out and heal.

Yesterday was the first day that I got brave enough to actually look closely at it myself. LOL  I wanted to know the extent of my injuries. :)  The cut skin looks to be healing nicely...even difficult to see....but yesterday was when I finally realized that it wasn't just my skin that was cut....that stinking brand new blade I had just put in the rotary cutter was truly enough to cut the skin, and continue cutting through the side and towards the center of my finger nail!!!!!!!!!!  NO WONDER the tip of my finger still hurts to do anything with it!!!!!!!

This little accident has left me a little scared of the rotary cutter....terrified is closer to the truth! :) :)  I started looking around and asking questions and found that there was a product on the market just for potentially klutzy quilters called.....drum roll please......KLUTZ GLOVES!!!!!!

I ordered myself one (and I ordered my mom one also because I feel responsible with her new found need to use a rotary cutter herself.....I've been dragging her into starting the mystery quilt and other projects with me).

The gloves are made using a wire mesh to stop "blades gone wild" from penetrating our delicate fingers and there are rubber grippers they help us hold the acrylic rulers in place.  The rubber grippers are on both sides of the glove so that it can be used for both right and left handed quilters.  I bet whoever thought of this has made a fortune!!!! LOLOLOL

The package arrived yesterday!!!!  YIPPEE....I feel brave enough to use the rotary cutter again.  It's a good thing too....I really needed to cut out the required pieces for the second clue in the mystery quilt.

Thanks to my new "feel the power" glove....I am back in the groove.  All 128 purple "geese" triangles, 256 black on white print "wings", and the 64 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangles (an advance clue for the next reveal) are all cut out and ready to sew together.

The timing couldn't be better.  Kirsten needs the use of my long cutting table to work on some more of her Christmas gift projects (photos will be shared after the holidays) and now I can sit at my little featherweight and sew up a storm while she works across the room....great bonding opportunity for the two of us. :) :)

Ta Ta for now....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Heartland Crossing Project

So, you may recall me mentioning in a past post that I'm participating in a 6-month quilting/history club called "Prairie Women's Sewing Circle".  The November project was a wall-hanging called Heartland Crossing using the log cabin blocks constructed from 1 1/4" strips of prairie/civil war reproduction fabrics.

I got off to a slow start due to the fact it is Christmas and I have so many gifts needing the fact I'm participating in the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter.

I've just recently finished the 16 (8") blocks needed and I still need to make a flying geese border in order to complete the project per instructions....

Aren't the blocks lovely?  I couldn't be happier with the fabric colors and designs.  I've always loved the look of a log cabin quilt.  Here's my dilemma...I love it so much that I can't decide if I want to finish it per instructions or continue making blocks with the hopes of constructing a bed size quilt over time.  I truly am thrilled with the "scrappiness" of the fabrics.  What to do....what to do.... :) :) :)

I think for now I'm going to set it aside and think about it while I start the December pioneer project....and work on the mystery quilt....and finish up Christmas gifts....and continue making blocks for my Tennessee Waltz quilt that I'm doing as my "leaders and enders". LOLOLOL

This picture is proof of my chaotic method of sewing (don't worry...I'm actually happiest in the midst of my chaos).  To the left and under the sewing needle are sections for the mystery quilt.  Immediately to the right of the sewing machine are the log cabin blocks in the middle of construction and on the far right of the table are pieces for my Tennessee Waltz quilt that I use as leaders and enders.  Of course, peeking out in the right hand corner are Christmas presents that I'm stacking as I wrap them.  (NO...I've not been able to get my dear hubby to pull the tree out of the shed and assemble it for me yet.)

Gotta go do some laundry so I can get back to sewing! :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Easy Street Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

Most of the projects I've been working on over the past few weeks are gift related (as in Christmas!) so I'm unable to post much of what is occupying my days for fear that the recipient may read my blog that day. :)

BUT...I am able to share about one of the projects I've just started.  It's a mystery quilt called Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter.  I'm as huge fan (remember me sharing about her workshop I attended back in July of this year?)  Well, bless her heart, as a means of "thanks and giving back" to all her fans, each year she offers the opportunity to participate in a free mystery quilt.  She releases the clues (instructions), one step at a time on a weekly basis.  Clue #2 was just released this past Friday.  The mystery is that we have no idea what the finished quilt top will look like until the final clue is revealed.  Of course, I've not seen a quilt Bonnie Hunter has designed that I didn't love.

To see the progress of many other quilters participating....then simply visit the link below:

The first clue was revealed on Black Friday.  I was out of town for Thanksgiving so I didn't get to start until the middle of the last week.

First clue involved making 384 twosies....

Then sewing them together to make 192 four-patches....

After sewing them, we had to "twist" and press the center seam (something I had never done before I might add). This step reduces the bulk of the fabric seams so that the block lays flat.

Now I must scoot and get started cutting the pieces for Clue 2....using purples and the black on white prints as seen in my first photo above...AND continue working on the ton of other projects I'm trying to finish.  It's a good thing I am at my best when multitasking   I accomplish more when I have lots of variety and projects going on at the same time.  One project at a time is BORING! LOLOL

Seriously consider jumping in and making the mystery quilt along with all of won't be sorry!