Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out of season, I know,

but I finally got all of the blocks made for my version of Bonnie Hunter's "Crabapples" pattern (from "Adventures with Leaders and Enders"). I made the same number of tree blocks as the pattern, but I wanted a larger quilt, so I alternated them with fall colored batik squares. I'm still on the hunt for a border fabric that clicks for me.
This won't get assembled right away. Next week I am attending a two day retreat, with Pam Buda instructing (WooHoo!!), and I need to get two quilts cut and bagged up, ready to sew. I also have a couple of gift projects that I need finished soon, so this quilt will probably be on my design wall for a time. And while it is there, I'm sure I will be shifting blocks around to try and get the color placement just right. I have one more red block cut and I think I need to sew it up and put it somewhere in the bottom half, replacing one of those greens.


Mom was very happy with her little table topper. I need to remember to get a photo at their home of the quilt she made that is hanging on the wall, and this matching table topper made from the scraps of that quilt, gracing the table nearby.

Maybe you recall earlier this year when I received some UFOs from Karen (Log Cabin Quilter blog). Foremost among them was a large number of star blocks--well, almost blocks. The pattern for which they had been made called for them to be left in two parts, like this...
These half blocks were used to create rows and when the rows were sewn together the stars would be complete. I have opted for a different setting for these beautiful stars, so I have put my trusty new (old) machine to work with the assembly process. Where all of the seams intersect in the middle it creates a thick mass, but my little featherweight isn't fazed by it. Sews right through it as though there was nothing to fear. I almost have the pile of 50-something stars finished!
I am trying to come up with an appropriate name for this machine. I've had several great suggestions, but I haven't narrowed it down yet. I'm hoping to have her named by the time she goes with me on retreat. I've ordered my shoulder strap case from Jean and Bill Lyle. That will be such a relief to not have a heavy machine to lug around in an awkward case. Can't wait!

On so many of your blogs I have been reading about all of the projects you have planned for the coming year. In giving it some thought, I have
decided that where last year was my "Year of the Feather," this will be my "Year of the UFO".  I will go boldly into "unfinished" territory! I have gone through boxes, bins and bags and have come up with just under 20 projects (I know, that is a drop in the bucket compared to many of you) that were started and abandon in various stages. Some of them just need a border to be to the completed flimsy stage.

Several are completed sets of blocks that need to be assembled into a top

Others are all cut with blocks partially made.
This is just a sampling of what I found. All of them deserve a finish. This year I plan to get as many of them to flimsy stage as I can, and even quilt some. I will start with the ones that are closest to flimsy stage and work my way up, seeing just how much I can get done. I plan to make a mini quilt here and there, but until I have a bunch of these off the list, I will not start new bed-size quilts. Did I mention that I will be starting two new quilts in the Pam Buda retreat next week? Those don't count--I signed up for those workshops almost a year ago.

Now, I have a confession to make. I am totally addicted to the flavor combination of dark chocolate and peppermint. There has been way too much of it available during the holidays, and I have overindulged. These two have been my favorites--and the packages are near empty. Last night, as DH and I did a little grocery shopping, I was frantically scanning the carts of discounted Christmas goodies, hoping to find the remnants of either of these to take home with me and ration out over the next few weeks. Alas, nothing. I was forlorn, but pondering the possibilities of that ever present alternative--Amazon! As I hopelessly turned down the aisle of Valentine treats, I was pretty sure peppermint/dark chocolate would not be a featured flavor there.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but 3 bags of dark chocolate/peppermint Roca, at a greatly reduced price, sitting innocently among the Valentine Roca packages. I spoke not a word, but went straight to the shelf. I grabbed all three bags, quite ashamed of myself. (Oops, sorry, I got carried away.) I was ecstatic, but also looking around greedily hoping to spy some of the Lindor truffles. Success goes to my head. In the end, I settled (very happily, to be honest) for my 36 pieces of Dark Chocolate/Peppermint Roca, and if I am careful I figure I am good until, well---at least Groundhog Day.

So what are your quilting plans for 2014, and what guilty secret goes in your shopping cart, and what's in your wallet? Sorry, got carried away again. Too much dark chocolate and peppermint, I guess.
Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. Between my birthday last month and Christmas this month, and sometimes for no reason at all, I have been the recipient of some lovely gifts. I was going to share them here, but was concerned that I might inadvertently omit someone, or something. I hope you can tell from my individual thank-yous to each of you, just how much I appreciate the thought and kindness behind each gift. I have been deeply touched!


34 comments:

  1. Wow! You have some beautiful UFO's! I'm looking forward to seeing those finished! I'm thinking that since your Featherweight is such a workhorse, she should have a workhorses name... like "Nellie"? Maybe? Or "Rosie"... like Rosie the Riveter... anyways, chocolate covered anything always finds its way into my cart... along with peanut butter and cheese stuffs.... my heart wishes I liked carrots instead... lol! Happy New year to you!

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  2. Oh Janet, what a lovely collection of work you've got pictured here today!! You are my favorite prolific quilter, to be sure! (Even if they are UFOs!) I love your 'Crabapples' piece -- the colors are sparkly, jewel-y, pretty!! Dove Chocolates made a dark chocolate with peppermint bark top which was *awesome*! I looked everywhere for the dark chocolate raspberry M&Ms this year, but didn't find any -- I was so bummed! Enjoy your retreat -- sounds like FUN!!! Happy New Year!!! :)

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  3. I am right along with you, with the ufo thing...I have some all ready to sew too!! This is our year, right? Love your mom's quilt...it is perfect. Happy New Year!

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  4. Good luck with your UFOs. I will watch with interest as to how you get on.

    My favorite chocolates are Dark Terry's Old Gold. On the run up to Christmas they are discounted and I buy boxes of them. I currently have 2 stashed and I have got through 2 or 3 so far!

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  5. Wow Janet…doesn't look like you have been 'sitting around and staring' like I have!!
    As usual you create such great eye candy (seems you've been pigging out on some real candy too…but who am I to talk, I don't even have any remnants or empty bags to prove what I devoured during the holidays!) We are just a couple of oink-ers!!! ha!
    I admire you dragging out all your UFO's and making a stance to bring them to completion. I think my UFO's are at least to the stage they can hang on a hanger. I'm going to have to break my No Fabric Buying Rebellion to get a couple of them finished….it will be 3 yrs. this week!! Woo Hoo!
    I'm wishing you LOTS and TONS of fun on your retreat. It will be nice for you to get away and have some quilty therapy!! HA!

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  6. "Too much dark chocolate and peppermint"? Are you crazy? There is NO SUCH THING!! Dark chocolate...mmmmmm Peppermint....mmmmmm. My 2 favorite flavors of all time. And NOW I think I'll pull a couple York Peppermint Patties out from my stash in the sewing room. Thanks for that, Janet! And have a most wonderful New Year. Good luck with your UFO challenge, I have no doubt that you will be successful.

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  7. How exciting to be off on retreat with Pam - hope you have lots of fun. Your crabapples are looking good and I am wondering how you will decide which ufo to start on first - lots of yummy looking projects there :-) I'm sure (hehe I know) you're not alone with the Peppermint chocolate thing....Enjoy!!

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  8. Oh my!!! Your Crabapples has certainly lived up to it's promise! I LOVE IT!!! It will be hard to find the right border, but you are right to give it time and let it come to you - that quilt deserves the perfect border :) Looks like we'll be working on UFO's together!!! That's my main focus this year too. You are such a good friend and a delightful blogger - you deserve gifts galore!!! Happy 2014 sweet friend!!!

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  9. How nice to get to be at a retreat with Pam. You will do fine. I can't believe you only have a few UFO's that need borders. You'll tick those out lickedy split on your Machine. I stock up on anything Russell Stover- Milk Chocolate with lots of NUTS at the after Christmas sales. I liked your rhyme. Those Trees are for any season!

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  10. your crabapple looks great - such warm colors!
    your ufo projects and blocks are fun and it will be great to see how you finish them.
    Happy New Years - I love dk chocolate and peppermint too :)

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  11. Lucky you off to retreat with Pam! Have fun! Happy 2014 to you.

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  12. Wow, what wonderful UFO's - I'd be inspired to finish them! It will make for a year of great satisfaction for you! Have not been hooked by the dark chocolate/peppermint combo yet - Lindt Chili-(dark)Chocolate bars are our nightly after dinner treat. Happy New Year!

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  13. I love your Crabapple Tree Quilt! The colors are gorgeous! And I'm never good at naming things, but I love moosecraft's idea of Nellie, because she's a workhorse! That's sweet! And your ufo's are fabulous.....yes, they all deserve to be finished! That's my plan for 2014, as well. Get those flimsies made into quilts! The stack is WAY too big! lol And a I have never seen that Roca before! Where have I been!?! LOL I LOVE peppermint and dark chocolate together! I made Candy Cane Bark (like Williams/Sonoma's) this year......and dang near ate the whole batch! It was tough to give some up for the cookie trays! LOL

    Happy New Year!

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  14. After reading your post I feel better about my UFO list from last January. I didn't get very far with them - I reviewed my list this morning - and now I received the Dear Jane book for Christmas, so I want to start on it. I think I'm going stark raving mad!! If I sign up for the NewFO program, I can start new projects and not feel guilty about it, right?

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  15. So many pretty goodies! :) I have actually been thinking about finishing up some UFO's too. They get out of hand before you know it! I hope you enjoy your retreat! Sounds like it will be fun!

    Have a wonderful and Blessed day
    Kristie

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  16. Those stars are so fun! It will be fun to see them finished up... and
    I'm proud of you for confessing your guilty pleasures :)

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  17. If I had known you were such a fan of peppermint roca I would've made sure I stopped at their outlet store in Tacoma as I drove by the other day. I know they had some cheap there, because there were containers of it at my sister's house. But alas, now I'm back in Utah...

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  18. As always, a stunning post! Beautiful quilts. I love your color choices!
    Happy New Year to you!

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  19. What a great UFO batch you have there. I may a list of 12 UFO's I plan on finishing along with other projects. I really love your Easy Street colors. I could kick myself for not saving those patterns when she had them out. I love the little quilt your mom is holding up. She is just as cute!
    Have a Happy New Year!

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  20. What great UFOs you have! As usual, you inspire me. I still have UFOs from when I began quilting 30 years ago but they're getting done (slowly) in between other projects and being donated as lap quilts for the elderly. My biggest UFO is my way too enormous stash of fabric waiting (needing!!!) to be used ...and not added to! I love the way you wax rhapsodically about your chocolate finds (with apologies to Clement Moore?) We've been needing to get to Baker's chocolate factory here in NE. Or perhaps not. Glad you're enjoying your new sewing machine; what a joy it will be to take to classes. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

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  21. You have some great UFOs - I'm sure you will have them all finished in no time! I look forward to hearing about your retreat with Pam - is it in your area? I bet it will be a blast! Lindt candy is my all time favorite - they make the best chocolate ever. I've never tried the peppermint Roca - and maybe that is just as well! Hope you have a very happy New Year!

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  22. Good luck making progress on those UFOs. My guild does this as a challenger every 5 years and I love it. Feels so good to get things done and fall in love again with an old project. Your mom looks happy with her table runner. I think a post featuring her quilts would be fun! I'd love to hear about her quilting history.

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  23. Janet, I love that you put pictures of your ufos (or some of them). That's a great start towards working on them!!! I have a prize for you, since you came up with the new years resolution for next year to finish ufos!
    Can you send me your address again, please?? I kept it but can't find it.
    Have fun at your retreat next week! Sounds great!!

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  24. Happy, Happy New Year my dear friend! As usual, your post is a feast for the eyes. Yes, your UFO's all deserve to be finished, you're right about that, they're all stunning... but don't be too hard on yourself. All things in good time. I believe that every year is the year of the UFO for me... and that's okay. Wishing you blessings of happy discovery in this new year, and joyous finishes too. Oh, and about Lindor and the dk choc./peppermint truffles: Lindt only exports those; or at least that used to be the case. we lived in Switzerland for three years (1996-1999) and found that the Swiss turned up their noses at the combination of chocolate and mint, they consider it sacrilege. The only flavor that they choose to combine w/ their chocolate is hazlenut. I don't know if that has changed now, but I doubt it; they're rather set in theoir ways. I'm with you... 100%! :)

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  25. Well one thing is for sure... it will be a year full of treats for all of us in blogland, getting to see all those lovely UFO's as you finish them in 2014! I'm sure looking forward to it!
    My quilting plans include getting to know a few of my UFO's once again... but I won't limit myself to just them. That would never work!
    Enjoy your Lindt treats... they wouldn't make it to Groundhog Day in my house!

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  26. I love your crabapple quilt! It is really gorgeous with the alternate setting blocks. Hope you have some great ideas for the quilting in those plain blocks. How cute is your mom with her little quilt :)

    What a terrific bunch of projects you'll enjoy revisiting these next few months. I have quite a few project boxes with fabric and pattern gathered and that is what I want to focus on, but I won't hesitate much if a brilliant new quilt jumps in the front of the line :). Then there are the unquilted tops....

    Hope your peppermint needs are fully met for the next few weeks--enjoy!

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  27. If I know you, you'll plow right through those UFO's! Happy New Year!

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  28. Happy New Year Janet! Attending a quilt retreat with Pam Buda sounds like the perfect start to 2014. Your new little featherweight will be the perfect traveling companion. I'm hoping for beautiful weather as you travel through the Sardine. You have so many beauties on the verge of being finished. Starting with the closest to flimsy stage sounds like the perfect plan. Don Aslett uses the same advice when teaching about tackling household chores. Easiest first! I'm not a fan of dark chocolate but a day rarely passes without my sneak of Kisses with almonds, must have almonds!

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  29. Featherweights are fearless... just love them! What about the name of "Faith" for your sweet machine... "Faith the Featherweight" who is Fearless... that has a lovely ring to it! Enjoyed seeing your UFO parade...such beautiful quilts!
    But mostly I am so jealous that you get to take a class with Pam!!! Lucky duck! Tell us ALL about it when you get back and have a great time!

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  30. Love your crabapple quilt. Smart lady to add those extra rich fabrics for alternating blocks.
    Wish I had UFOs that look as promising as yours do. Mine are a pretty boring stack, but yours are going to be great fun to see you finish.
    My weakness is anything chocolate--white or milk or dark versions. Come one, come all, enter my mouth and make me smile.
    I just want to add how much I love getting your comments whenever I post on my blog. You're usually the first one to read my little comments and you always have such positive things to say. You're a treasured blogger, my friend.

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  31. Your projects for this year are wonderful; you always have quilts on my blog that I wish I had in my home. It is so nice to see your Mom with her little quilt. I agree with Vivian that you are always over at my blog to read my ramblings and leave a comment, and you are truly a treasured blogging friend. Happy New Year to you.

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  32. What a sweet post Janet! Anxious to see all your UFO completions throughout 2014. One of my classes at RD2CA this year uses 1" to 2" strings for star units. Anxious to see how these work up. Sandi

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  33. Curses on you and your mention of good mint chocolate! I went out to see what I could find first to a grocery store. I didn't find either the truffles or the mint roca, but I did find a bar of Ghierdelli mint cookie chocolate. The cookie bit is very thin--so it is mostly chocolate, however, the cookie gives a very pleasing crunch. I checked another store and found the truffles and roca. The roca was not half price, as the truffles were, so it stayed at the store, but I did bring home 3 bags of truffles. I'd never heard of the mint ones prior to reading about them here, but goodness, they are yummy! Have a great day.

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  34. I must have been dead in bed and missed this fun, fun post!! I hope you continue to crack me up all through 2014 - our best year yet!! :-))

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