Thursday, June 16, 2011

Its UFO Time: Ladies and Gents, Start Your Sewing Machines

Leave Me Alone I'm Quilting!
Okay people it is confession time. I have, by actual count 58 UFOs. For those of you who don't already know, in quilting terms a UFO is an Un-Finished-Object. (This is not to be confused with the more rare, but equally frustrating WOMBAT ... Waste Of Material, Batting and Time.)

I am an expert at UFOs. I have what my husband calls Magpie Syndrome. I am distracted by bright or shiny objects. I see something and say, "'Oh I've got to make that." The words are hardly out of my mouth before something else catches my eye and its "Oh that too, and that.' I start many things and finish significantly fewer. Its time to pay the piper. I'm going to get some things done and I want you to join me. So, I'm having a friendly little competition.

To be clear projects are only considered UFOs if they are actually started. All those piles of fabric I have purchased for projects not yet stared are not UFOs. That is only stash or what I call un-started projects and they are a whole different ball of string. We may deal with them in the future. It does not become a UFO until I actually start the project.

My goal for the remainder of this year is to finish as many previously-started projects as I can. And I am challenging you to do the same.

Today I have:
  • 5 quilted tops that need binding (Not Your Grandmother's Log Cabin, Charm Square, Guild Friendship Blocks, Fairies, Pink and Blue rail fence)
  • 3 incomplete hand sewing projects (includes hand piecing or applique) (Bonnet Girls an on-going BOM, Floral Wreath Applique, partly pieced Crazy Quilt)
  • 30 finished tops waiting for me to quilt and then bind them (Table runner to queen sized)
  • 15 projects that I started piecing that have not yet reached the quilting stage. (Mom and Dad, 2-Turning Twelve (modified Turning Twenties), 2-baby quilts from Dick and Jane ...)
  • 5 projects that are ready for the pattern to be written and tested (Midnight Blues, 2 applique wall hangings, Scrap Therapy and Marnie)
That gives me a grand total of 58 projects to complete. (Okay I may have quit counting when I began to get discouraged and embarrassed. I definitely skipped the boxes in the basement and I am not including those I have designed patterns for but haven't started.)

The challenge is for you to send me a list of your UFOs and see how many you can complete before December 15, 2011. That gives you more than five months to work with. Half a year. Eons of sewing time.

Here's how it works.
1. You have until July 5 to join the fun.
2. E-mail me a list of your UFOs, or at least a list of those you plan to complete. Un-started projects do not count. You must already have started these projects to qualify. If you wish, you can submit a photo of the started projects or the mess in your sewing space that inspired you to join in the fun. Please include your full name, hometown, e-mail address and project list. ( I will keep all your personal information confidential and it will not appear on my blog.
3. E-mail me a picture of each project as you complete it. (I may publish them on this blog to inspire others. If you want to share a picture with me, but do not want your photo posted here, please tell me when you submit your picture.)
4. I will publish an ongoing list of competitors and their stats. (Number of projects, number finished.) (No last names, just first names and initials and home town.)
5. You must be a follower of this blog to enter and to win. If you are not already a follower, please sign up.
6. The winner will be the person who completes the most UFOs before December 15, 2011.
7. Every entrant who completes more projects than I do will be entered into a draw for an additional prize.

Sorry to my off continent followers, this contest is only open to subscribers in Canada and the Continental United States. (Technical question for my American readers, does Continental United States include Alaska? It does for this blog.) If you are off continent and want to participate, please join us but you will not be eligible for prizes.

The Grand Prize .... a quilt kit. The pattern will be one of my choosing and one of my own patterns (of course) and the fabric needed to complete the top and the binding. The Bonus Prize: to be determined.

Ladies and Gents ..... start you sewing machines. On your marks, get set, QUILT!

I dare you to enter! I double dare you!! I double-dog dare you!!!

Something Lovely to Inspire Us!
Birds of a Feather
By: Joan F. Naylor.Quilted by: LuAne Downs
3rd Place Wall Hanging
Machine Quilters Showcase 2011. Kansas

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vacation is Over: Let the Work Begin

It seems like forever since I touched a computer. We spent the last 22 days on vacation and the most technical thing I touched during that time was my camera. I'm not saying that I am addicted to the camera, but we have almost 3000 vacation pictures plus about 1000 pictures of the lacrosse tournament we attended.

But, lets begin at the beginning... vacation started with five days in London. We've been before, but went back for the chance to absorb more history. We walked for hours soaking up the architecture and marvelling at the sights. Our hotel was just off Trafalgar Square (The Grand on Trafalgar.) There is always something happening in the square. It ranges from demonstrations to concerts to impromptu dancing and everything in between. We started and ended each day there. Coffee every morning and tea every night before returning to our hotel. Frequently we watches a man there with a falcon chasing away the pigeons. He didn't harm them, but his presence scared them off which made for a much more pleasant visit.

After London came Prague and lacrosse. We watched the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships and my husband participated in the Grand Masters (Over 45) division.Their team won their division and beat every team in the Masters division (Over 30.)  The tournament organizers also hosted a beer drinking competition which we won quite handily. We arrived about an hour late and still manged to clean up. Never challenge a Canadian to a beer drinking competition!

Mmmm, vats and vats of Scotch Whiskey.

Next Up: Scotland. Yup, we were there last year too. This year we drove up the east coast, across the top and down the west coast. We took in Edinburgh and the Isle of Sky as well. Scotland has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Its kind of like Canada with its prairies, mountains, forests and rocky plains all squished up together.  Every turn in the road and every crest of a hill gives you something new to look at. We also visited the Glen Morangie Distillery and had a tour. Scotch making is at once much simpler and much more complex than I ever imagined.

Celtic Quilting
Gail Lawther

I found a book on Celtic Quilting while I was there and took a ton of pictures of Celtic designs and carpets for quilting inspiration. I probably have the strangest holiday pictures ever. Last year I took pictures at the Louvre, mostly of the intricate tile floors and ceilings.

Now, its back to the old grindstone. First off, into the studio and back at the longarm. I've got a stack of client quilts to finish by the end of next week. After the studio maybe some time catching up on pattern writing.

The Ocean near Thurso, Scotland.