Saturday, January 19, 2019

It's a mystery no more!

Hi Everyone!

I finished Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune Mystery last night!  Here's what my version looks like:


In the directions, Bonnie gave the option of doing the oranges as string-pieced or solid pieces.  I chose to do the solids and I'm very happy with my choice!  That choice also made a difference in the way my borders were pieced.  The neutrals in my borders ended up being long rectangles rather than extremely scrappy.  Here's a close up of my non-pieced oranges and border neutrals:


I would never have thought to use these colors together on my own!  I'm thrilled with the result, though!

Now I get to cross this off my 2019 Finish It Up Challenge list!

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, January 7, 2019

Quilting Stencil Storage

Disclosure:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.


I was having issues storing my quilting stencils.  I had them on two nails in the wall of my sewing room.  This really didn't work well.  It seemed every time I wanted a specific stencil, it was at the back!

After searching the internet and Pinterest (love me some Pins!), I saw where someone had used a lamp shade to hang their scrapbook embellishments.  They had basically made a stand with a lamp shade at the top so the whole thing looked like a floor lamp.  I don't have that much floor space but was still intrigued by the lamp shade part.

Thanks to hubby's brain and other help, I was able to achieve what I wanted.  Really, love my hubby!  He acquired the shade for me from a local junk shoppe - no charge (the owner's a friend).  I had given him the minimum dimensions that I needed:  6" (15.24cm) diameter at the top, at least 6" from the top ring to the bottom ring, at least 13" (33.02cm) diameter for the bottom ring.  These dimensions allowed enough room for the stencils to be hanging opposite each other on the shade without overlapping across the diameter.

I didn't take photos of the process, but I'll tell you what I did.
  • Removed all the fabric from the shade
  • Cleaned off all the glue on the rings with a Sheffield knife * (see below)
  • Did a light rubdown with steel wool
  • Did a cleaning pass with a rag and window cleaner
  • Spray painted the frame silver (actually, hubby did this - he's better at spray painting)
That's all it took to prep the shade!

Since I didn't want it to be a floor stand, I decided I wanted to hang it from the ceiling (I have a low 7' ceiling).  I didn't know how to achieve this, so hubby's brain helped.  We went to Home Depot and got a hanging bolt (about 4" long overall).  I knew what I had in mind, but would never have been able to explain it to anyone else.  For those, like me, who don't know what a hanging bolt is, it's a combination of a bolt and a screw.  One end is pointed like a screw and the other is threaded to take nuts.  It doesn't have a head on either end so it's perfect!

I'd never used one before, so hubby showed me what to do.  He took a nut and put it on the bolt end, high enough to get a second nut on it.  He then put the 2nd nut on until it made contact with the 1st one.  Basically, this "locks" the 2nd nut in place so that you can use it as a handle.  After that, I was on my own for installation.  This is fine because I do know my way around tools...just not hanging bolts.  :-)

For installation, I held the lamp shade frame where I wanted it, making sure to allow enough room all around for the stencils.  I used a pencil to mark the center of the frame on the ceiling.  Next, I took a drill fitted with a bit just a hair smaller than my hanging bolt and pre-drilled a hole for the bolt.  Using a ratcheting socket wrench, I fit the socket over the lower nut on the hanging bolt and screwed the bolt into the ceiling.  I did have to move both nuts a little further up the bolt so that only the lower nut (the "handle") was in the socket. 

My new contraption doesn't weigh much but I did make sure that I was screwing it into a stud, just to be safe.

I then removed the lower nut but left the upper one on.  I don't want my shade to rock back and forth so the upper one acts as a stop.  I then fit the shade onto the bolt and replaced the bottom nut.  There is a tiny bit of room between the nut/shade/nut so that the shade can spin but it doesn't rock.

I then hung the stencils from the shade using S hooks with clamps. * (see below)  Here's my completed stencil storage:



 ..and here's a close-up.  You can see the hanging bolt and nuts plus the hooks I used.



...and here are the affiliate links that I mentioned at the start:

       

Happy Stitching!

Stacy




Friday, January 4, 2019

Finish It Up Challenge 2019 edition

Happy New Year, Everyone!


I've done this Finish It Up Challenge the last couple of years and thought I'd do it again.  2018 wasn't my best effort, but I still got some of those done so I'm hopeful.

Since I'm going to be working on converting a large spare bedroom into my quilting studio, there are going to be a lot of steps toward that listed!

Here's my list for 2019:

  • Finish hand-quilting my antique grandmother's flower garden quilt
  • Paint the ceiling of my new quilting studio
  • Finish the top from Bonnie Hunter's 2018-19 Good Fortune Mystery finished 18 Jan 2019
  • Paint the inside of the 2 closet areas in my studio
  • Paint the walls and trim of my studio
  • List a bunch of items in my Etsy Shop XedStitches
  • List items on FB marketplace
  • Lay new flooring in my studio
  • Build new cutting table
  • Clean and re-frame cross stitch for my sister
  • Install shelving for fabric in my studio
  • Install new light fixtures in my studio
  • Paint chest of drawers that will go in closet of my studio
  • Move quilting supplies (fabric, books, rulers, etc.) into new space
  • Finish crocheted cardigan
  • Make another bull's eye quilt top
There will probably be more added to this list as I finish items up.  I'm really keen on getting the quilting studio items done but some of those will depend on finances.  I'm not going to do any step without being able to pay cash for it.  The painting shouldn't be a problem but I'm definitely going to have to save up for new flooring.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's a mystery, part 4



This week's clue had options on whether to make pieced blocks or not.  There were different piecing options included as well.  I went with the lazy woman's way and didn't piece the blocks.  This option will still give me great color variations in my quilt but also gave me time to finish up the previous clues!

Here are my "blocks" for this week's clue:



I was also able to completely finish off my red 9-patches (all squared up) and my green half chevrons (also all squared up).  Both of those sets are also at the correct numbers I needed.

I also worked on getting my blue HSTs (half square triangles) squared up and counted and the green HSTs that were "buddies" from the half chevron blocks.  I haven't finished these yet, but hopefully by this Friday's clue I'll be all caught up.

Here are the blocks that I have totally done:


You can see how everyone else is progressing, including some cool alternative color choices, at this Monday's Link Up!

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, December 10, 2018

It's a mystery, part 3


Well, part 3 was released this past Friday as usual.  I did make a start on the clue.  This time, we were using greens and neutrals.  This block also has a "buddy block" (made as a result of these).  Here are the few of the main block that I got completely finished.


Here are the even fewer buddy blocks that I got done - these are even squared up!


This is definitely proving to be a mystery.  While I've done 3 clues, I don't have a clue how these are going to come together!

See others who are working on this at the Quiltville Monday Link-Up for the mystery.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, December 3, 2018

It's a mystery, part 2



I'm so proud of myself!  I finished cutting and stitching all of the pieces I needed for clue #2!  I still need to
iron and square them up, but I'm ahead of where I expected to be on a Monday.

Here is a sample of my "blocks" for clue #2:


I was surprised by how many blues I ended up with.  It was either 14 or 17 different fabrics.  I'm going for ultra-scrappy on this one.  lol

Hopefully, by the time the next clue comes out on Friday, I'll have ironed and squared all of the blocks from clues 1 & 2.  I adjusted my ironing board so that I could sit down to use it in order to save my back some grief.  It seems to be working so far!

See others who are working on this at the Quiltville Monday Link-Up for the mystery.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It's a mystery!

Hi All!

Thanksgiving is over.  Hubby and I had an enjoyable trip out-of-town for the day.  We were non-traditional, we had prime rib!

I've survived decorating our house and shop for Christmas.  I love doing it, but it does a number on my back.  Thankfully, I've gotten back into yoga so while I still hurt, I was able to walk upright the next day!  Since I've only been back at my yoga for a couple of weeks, I'd say it's definitely improving my life.

The day after Thanksgiving, Bonnie Hunter started the clues for her Good Fortune Mystery.


I've made a start on the pieces for this first clue:


Because my current cutting table is too low for my height, I alternate between cutting and sewing.  That means I've only got about 25% of my pieces done so far.  I'm hoping to get the rest done before the next clue comes out on Friday.

ETA:  I'm planning on building a cutting table for my height (5'9½" - very long legs!) but I'll make due with this one for awhile.  I've already drafted plans for my new, custom, cutting table!

I am using the recommended color palette.  The variety of colors is more than I would normally use in a quilt, but so was last year's mystery and I ended up loving it!

If you want to see all of the other participants' progress, you can click here:  Monday Link-Up.  Not everyone is using the same palette, so it's great to see how different something the same can look with just alternate colors.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy