Allietare Mystery Clue 3 complete – Holiday decoration started!!

My efforts for Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt – Allietare   Clue 3 are satisfactory!  The blocks are complete and I was pleased with the process!!  No whining, as there is a $5 charge by Bonnie Hunter if she catches you!  Her tips and techniques with every clue are wonderful and make you feel like you are “in the classroom” with her.  Linking up to Bonnie Hunter’s blog today – Mystery Link Up

Because I started with my “smaller pieces”,  I was able to get a bit scrappier with my 4 patches.  I humbly thank those friends who toss their unloved and unwanted scraps to me!  I also thank my quilt-bee friends who swap fat quarters at our Material Girls Bee.  I did cut into some yardage, but only a couple of strips for the neutrals and a couple for the gold.  Even small pieces left over from our Senior Quilts found a place to be used in these blocks. As long as the piece was at least 2″x 2″ and was gold or neutral, I used it.  I cut some gold from fat quarters, and they were perfect for cutting into strips, then layering on the small pieces.  Not much waste that way.
Clue 3 complete

I did all the 2 patches on Saturday and all the 4 patches on Sunday afternoon.  They measure up perfectly thanks to my new “tool”.  Scant quarter inch

I used a stack of post it notes to give my seam guide a nice edge, and lots of painters tape to “hold it still”.  The beauty of this little tool is I can peel up the “guide” and remove it, and then come back later and set it up again.  Ok,  it is not pretty, but this is how I finally managed to get those pieces on Clue 2 finished!

Perkins perfect piecing seam guide

So, here is the collections of bits and pieces so far-

Clue 1,2 and 3 are finished

Stop in on Bonnie’s blog and check out the other folks posts to see how they are doing!  If you want more information on the Winter Mystery Quilt – you will find it here – Allietare Mystery info

I have not sewn a stitch today.  I did rip out all the binding stitches yesterday on “My Little Blue Bird”….that is a story for another day.   Hubby and I were summoned to be “state witnesses” at a trial today. We witnessed an accident back in March, and the court date has been delayed multiple times.  Today, we spent 2 hours doing our civic duty, on some very hard benches, and the defendant failed to show up. Seriously, the summons said to be there “15 mins early” for an 8:30 am trial. The darn doors to the courthouse don’t even open until 8:30. We both enjoyed the “people watching” that occurs as the “business end” of the court takes place. Nice apology from the judge for “wasting our time.”  Imagine, 4 witness and no defendant.  Annoying!!!    So, we will no doubt be summoned to the court house again in the future.  We deserved a nice breakfast “out” afterward, and a walk through the local Antique store.  Good thing the courthouse is only a very short distance from the house.

This afternoon, we decided to came home and to put a little Christmas decor in the house.  Still working on that project!  Darn tree took the whole day and we just have some of the lights on ! I was inspired again by the beautiful poinsettia trees we saw last week at Longwood gardens, so I got out my box of poinsettia lights.  Apologies for  the ladder and the white glare on the tree.  The lights are all red, and I don’t see why the centers would show as white in the photo.  We have some white lights getting ready to go on next to soften the red glow, and some golden bead garland. Haven’t decided yet about the ornaments.  With over 1/2 of our garage upstairs full of decorations, the decision on what to use is tough. It better be something we LOVE, because it won’t come down until mid-January!  I got on a kick about 7 years ago and bought a bunch of poinsettia lights…wishing I had more!  I think I will stick to the red, gold and white, and keep the tree “simple” this year.

Because the weather was a glorious 75 degrees today, I decided to get busy and wash the living room windows inside and out before beginning the decorating.  Had to engage hubby to lift the big old windows and fuss with the storm windows too.  We have 12 ft ceilings, and very large tall windows.  I have never washed windows in December before!  But, well worth the effort I think! We have 3 wreaths hung, and I think they turned out nicely!  I counted wreath boxes in the garage…way too many for normal people.  I must remember to change them out periodically.

Christmas wreath

Window wreath

Front door wreath

Well, time to get a nice stiff drink and go hang more lights……..hope you are having a pleasant evening!!

 

 

Project updates – Mystery quilts and trains

This past Friday, commonly called BLACK Friday I got to sew!  No shopping for me, except for a few grocery items late in the afternoon.  It was an “exciting” day for me because it was the day that PART  # 1, for the Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt 2015 Allietare,  was released.  If you missed it; go directly to Bonnie’s blog – Allietare, Part 1  .  If you want to see what others have accomplished over just 1 weekend – check out the “LINK UP” that Bonnie is running on her blog post today – Clue 1 Link Up Party!

Like many other QUILTVILLIANS, I was up early, printing out that set of “clues” for Part 1, and getting my sewing groove on.  I decided I would try the Easy Angle ruler suggested in the directions for making the half square triangle units.  I struggled to get my perfect seam allowance so the units would measure out precisely as indicated in the “clues”.  My Janome 8900 has a 1/4″ setting, and a 1/4″ foot, and generally that is my standard “seam allowance” on everything I do.  But, Bonnie is very specific in the instructions about the FINISHED size of the unit, and making sure you adjust your seam allowance to ensure it is perfect.  I ended up taking off my 1/4″ foot, using a standard foot, and moving my needle over as FAR to the right as it would go.  I did end up with better finished units and other than a few that got “chewed up” while chain piecing, or “chewed up” by the silly foot on my OLISO iron, I did well. Love that iron, but it catches the edges on the little things.

I dedicated the day to my project and I worked from “before breakfast” until it was time to stop for dinner.  ( I did venture into the house & kitchen to put on a nice pot of turkey soup. Epicurious.com has a great recipe for Turkey Noodle Soup with Tomatoes….5 star in my view) (Thanks darling daughter for the recipe idea).  

I was able to get 60 units finished, and a big pile stitched and ready to trim.  Because my skills with the easy angle are not expert, I did find that I needed to trim more than just the dog ears.Ready to stitch Chain piecing

ready to trim

As you can see in that basket on the left, I have LOTS & LOTS more trimming to do.  That will be my project today.  I love using my Clover Wonder clips for grouping into stacks of ten, for easy counting.

Today, Bonnie Hunter posted on Facebook a link that I wanted to share with you.  You might remember last spring I did a set of wonderful “marking pins” for keeping my rows and columns organized, while moving between the design wall & the sewing machine.  I totally failed to credit the blog where I found the instructions that worked for me.   Nancy’s Marking Pins tutorial .  Do you remember my pins?large group of pins

So, I must thank Nancy for her clear directions!  I remember that I had been searching for several months for a method to make my pins and her blog was a winner.  I saw the link to her blog today on Facebook, and knew I better extend my thanks!  In fact, I am going back to those previous blog posts later today and inserting her link there too!!

Friday was also the day that Carole released the final instructions for the Christmas Table Topper – Quilt Along she designed and I have been working on.  In case you missed it, check here for Part 4 – From My Carolina Home blog .  All I was able to do was get the directions printed out.

Not much has been happening in my quilting room over the weekend, sadly.  I have spent the weekend with the hubby at his model railroad club open house, selling raffle tickets, welcoming visitors etc. It is a lot of fun to see the kid’s (young and old) enjoy the displays.    There was a lot of activity, and we did have the best weekend in over 5 years! If you love model trains, enjoy looking at displays; there are 3 more weekends when the club will be open to the public.  Details here – DelMarVa Model Railroad Club  .  I did take some great pictures to share if you are unable to visit .  Parkersburg yard

You can find more here – DelMarVa Model Railroad Club photos

Speaking of trains, I want to tell you about a different kind of train – Meal Train.  There was a death recently of a member of my church, who was also my friend. His family lives very close by and I took a meal to them the day after he passed away.  My pastor asked if I could coordinate meals, and offered some suggested websites that make it very efficient.  I signed up and started notifying church members via Facebook, and the response and function of the website has been great.  If you ever have the occasion to help in your community,   Meal Train  is a great tool.  The website suggests it is useful for ” organizing meals for a friend after a birth, surgery, or illness”.  And, at times when you can do little else to help, it is a wonderful way to ensure a bereaved family has a hot meal and they don’t have to worry about cooking.

I hope you had a wonderful week of Thanksgiving, if you are in the USA.  Our holiday is sometimes full of over-indulging, but it is also a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family too.  I have lots of trimming to do, and some catch up work on that Christmas Table topper! I hope you have a chance to spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy some time at your hobbies too.