February Finish…Just Barely!

I really am trying to finish up projects, and goal setting seems to be a good way to do it.  During the first week of the month I committed myself to finishing my solids sampler quilt for my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes – #136 on the linky sign-up.  You can read more here about the summer sampler and my inspiration for carrying it further.  First I edited out some blocks and then needed to make a few more.  There was also the lovely interruption of QuiltCon – more on that soon.  Returning from that left me a bit behind in Life.  Suffice it to say that I knew that I needed to clean the shelves of my refrigerator because I could actually see them, as in there was no food covering them up!  Then came the wind…and the snow…and on Thursday the 2 hour delay became a snow day and for me it became a sew day.  I was able to sew all of the blocks into rows and get half of the rows assembled.  This afternoon I became a sewing machine and plowed through the rest.  I debated on borders – possibly none, but wanted the quilt to be a bit bigger as it would be more usable.  I looked at the fabric that was left and basically made it as wide as possible, and will think of it as negative space for the quilting – heard a lot about negative space at QuiltCon.  I was running out of daylight, so as soon as I just barely pressed the last seam, I rushed out to the park behind my house.  I really do need to learn how to take better pictures of quilts.  Here is one of the first shots…  DSC_0616

Then I tried draping it over the bench, but did not wear boots and did not want to tromp into sooo much snow in order to not have my shadow, so we have my shadow.  Makes me look really tall, yes?  And, yes that is the semi-frozen pond in my park.DSC_0618

Finally, someone came along and helped me to drape it on a fence.  Not great, but not too bad.


And so, with roughly 7.5 hours to spare….it is finished.  Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes. ALYOF 2015


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WIP Wednesday…Whoops!


So, I started this post for Wednesday, but it clearly did not get finished and posted.  My ALYOF goal this month is to get this baby put together, but first there are a few issues to resolve.  A week or so it looked like this – the original Summer Sampler blocks.6028365859_a6bebc2722_o

I wanted it to be a bit larger so I worked at making a few new blocks.

First off, the dog star which is one of my favorite go-to blocks.dog star

And then the Quatrafoil, another one that I like to make.Quatrafoil


While looking at how Freshly Pieced enlarged her quilt I got the idea for the Snow blossoms block.snowblossom


I also found that I had this Churn Dash and honestly do not know if I made it – it is in my colors for this quilt – or if I received it in a bee.  Maybe looking at the construction will give me a hint.  Either way, I like it so in it goes!Chrun dash


Also, somewhere along the way I made this extra Roman Cross block.Roman cross 1I don’t really like the contrast of this one, or of the first, but they are all in the group, and one or both will likely be remade or swapped out.  Here is what is on the wall now.  Solid Sampler early feb

It needs at least two more blocks, if not four.  I am off today and have a long weekend, so hopefully by Monday night I will have all of the blocks done.  We shall see!





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ALYOF February Goal

Since I did so well finishing up something for January for A Lovely Year of Finishes…here I am off to be a bit more ambitious for February.  I am a little concerned that I bit off too much since I will be away a few days at QuiltCon and it is a short month, but whatever…let’s give it a shot.

Way back in 2011 I made these Summer Sampler Series blocks. 6028365859_a6bebc2722_o As the name implies, it was summer, and I get so much more done in the summer.  But then they sat, and sat.  Somewhere along the way I made or was given a few more blocks, and at this point have 16 blocks.  One or two I am not too happy about.  I am not thrilled with the Roman Cross one, for example, so I might take them apart and redo or replace them.  Fortunately, when I started the Summer Sampler, I purchased a large amount of the grey solid and kept it set aside so that i did not use it for something else.  It is one of the Kona solids, but does not seem to quite match anything on my color card, so I am glad that I did not just wing it for once.

So…here it is…my February goal is to make a few more blocks and then put them together.  The top, that is it.  By Feb 28.  Maybe???

Linking up with…ALYOF 2015


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End of Month Check-in

So, I have been AWOL all month.  At least from the blog, but not from life.  What have I done?  A bit of sewing…and I did finish my January goal for ALYOF 2015Yay! DSC_0490The border really is not as wonky as it might appear.  I have it hung on the laundry room door and the door handle pokes out a bit.   I finished this earlier in the week and waited until today thinking that I would go outside to take some artsy picture in the park.  This morning with wind chill it was 2 degrees outside.  Yes we did run in it, but after that there was no way that I was going outside for a photo.  I kept to minimal quilting and let the sashiko be the star.  There is some white on white and then some blue on blue quilting.  I debated on the binding, but again decided to keep it simple. Sashiko quilt rod pocketI was very good and made the rod pocket and sewed part of it in when I attached the binding and then did the hand work.  You can hardly tell that it is even there.  And so, January goal…Check! Anything else you ask?  Well, now that you ask….I did finish up a pillow for KT to go on her nice new red couch …DSC_0430 DSC_0431And I was very proud of my zipper skills :)  DSC_0433Do you see it?  No?  Well, good! Also finished is another pillow.  I made some of the pieces for this when I was making a pillow for The Great Pillow Fight Holiday Swap.  I just got going one evening and finished piecing and quilted it before I remembered that I was going to add a small white border.  Thus it is a bit smaller than intended, but still a nice fresh holiday pillow, all ready for the 2015 holidays!  DSC_0496

Now I need to decide what is going to get finished next month.  Onward to February!  


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DCMQG New Year Goals and ALYOF

I am fairly new to instagram, but am checking in there now and again.  My fellow DCMQG members have been their posting their new year goals, so I joined in.  Here is what I posted…  #DCMQGnewyeargoals

So, if I plan on finishing a WIP each month, I best get started and declare my January goal.

ALYOF 2015

First up…to finish up the Sashiko quilt.

Sashiko with both borders

I know that I need to do some quilting on this, but don’t want to detract from the Sashiko.  Perhaps, some white stitching in the white and then navy blue stitching in the border, so that it anchors the layers but is not so noticeable from a distance.  Other suggestions?





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The year in review….

Yes, I really am around, if just barely.  What has happened since I last posted?  Life.  A few highlights, you ask?  What comes to mind first, was that I ran the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run, in what for me was excellent time.  Other than that…not much…just regular busy stuff of work and home.  I spent the first week of my much-looked-forward-to winter break in bed with the flu.  We have not even had Christmas yet!  When the whole family is back on the east coast we shall have our wee celebration.  It is the end of 2014 however, so I usually look back at what I have done, so here it is…first up the blocks that I have made, mostly  for group quilts for DC Modern Quilt Guild and Heal Circle quilts.  2014 blocks

And then there were the smallish things that I finished…

2014 smallish things

And then there were some larger things…three quilts that were for the DCMQG 1000 quilts for Kids drive.  The first two I made myself, and many people made blocks for the last one and I just put it together.DSC_0123


Finished economy block DCMQG quilt

I also struggled with but triumphed over my table runner for a Michael Miller Challenge.

table runner made for MQG Michael Miller Challenge

table runner made for MQG Michael Miller Challenge

There also is the Feathers quilt top that I have finished and handed off to someone to quilt for me.


And finally, there is the quilt that I made as a test quilter for an improvisational project score featured in The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood.  Alas, my quilt is a two-time looser, as it was not selected for the book, nor to be displayed for QuiltCon, but here it makes its debut.

LMackay-Atha Easy Does It Quilt

 And a close-up of the quilting which was rather good for me :)

LMackay-Atha Easy Does It  close up

And that is about it.  I always have many projects going on in various stages of completion, and realize that I never counted my knitting…oh well.  Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to a healthier, more organized new year.  How about you?



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I’m baaaaaack!

“From where?”  you might ask.  Hmmm…cough, cough…no where in particular.  Just whatever where.  Oh, that is not quite true as I did take a lovely vacation to the UK in August, but more about that later.  Let’s do a little catch up…working backwards…starting this weekend…or really this started earlier in the summer.

100 Quilts for Kids – Katie from Swim Bike Quilt started this project a few years ago and Heather at Quilts in the Queue took it over this year.  She has done a fabulous job…getting the word out, sponsors, prizes, a blog hop…just fabulous.  So, early in the summer I volunteered to organize a group quilt made by DC Modern Quilt Guild members.  To start I choose a paper pieced pattern (6″ economy blocks) and distributed some fabric at a DCMQG meeting.  I made some blocks and then received blocks from Anne and Linda and Jamie.  Here are my first blocks, more to give a true sense of the colors than anything else.10 Economy blocksMy little stack was growing.  Our September meeting was a sewing charity sewing day so I had the plan to be there to receive more blocks and have folks help to put the quilt top together. However, due to a brewing mini-crisis at home, at the last minute I was unable to go.  Fortunately, the lovely Liz was able to drop all of the collected blocks off at my house .

How do you feel about your sewing commitments?  I usually have some, as I like to be connected to the world, and not always in my own private little universe, but I don’t like to be stressed about it.  And stress I do if I am not going to be on time.  Maybe it has to do with my job, where I stress to kids that  things are either done on time, or not, you are in the classroom on time, or not.  So, I choose carefully what I say yes to.  Well, the 100 Quilts for Kids link up ends on Tuesday and I did not want this group quilt sitting in pieces at my house!  A few of the big hurdles from the start of the school year were past, including my big Bay trip and Curriculum Night, so Friday afternoon I started.  Before the sun went down I had this up on my design wall…Economy arrangement

and the rows were sewn together before I went to bed.  Saturday morning, after a lovely run with my 10K group along the canal, I put the rows together and pieced the back.  My good camera was out of commission, so these are cell phone pics and I feel that the colors are off.  Economy quilt topI needed to cross the river yesterday anyway to pick my daughter up at the airport, so I delivered the top and back to Aubrie who had volunteered to quilt this baby.  She does awesome work, so I was thrilled to hand it off to her and have her already talk about what designs she might do.

Whew…mission…at least my part of it…accomplished!


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