Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Mystery Quilt Top Complete

Someday I am going to figure out how to spell the way I actually say Emile's name now. There is a meaning behind why I named him Emile relating to a friend's kid and Emile's guessed birthday, but the truth is, Emile is annoying to say and hard to accent when he is being naughty...which is often.

Basically the way I say his name has changed into something like "Em-Me" over the years.

Today he was in rare form as I attempted again to layout the 2014 Mystery quilt and finish the top. One time the galloping was so bad I had to refer to a previous photo to make sure I put everything back together correctly.

In the end I didn't over-think the layout as much as I thought I would.

There were two combinations I did do the same throughout. This one:

And this one:

Otherwise I basically put it together as I laid it out without much rearranging. This put a couple of blocks next to each other that maybe shouldn't have been, but given the non-conventional sashing I don't think it matters.

On a totally unrelated note I had a dream that I had baby turkeys the other night. I haven't been able to find a really good interpretation on baby turkeys specifically, but interpretations on turkeys in general isn't exactly uplifting. Hopefully that dream wasn't foreshadowing an exceptionally a foolish week or something.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Little Si Outing

I thought my next post would be my completed quilt top, but it was not to be. I picked up a little project over the weekend that was due this morning so that is where my time ended up going.

We did get an outing today on Little Si and the Boulder Garden Loop. As you can see it was pretty sunny up top.

There were a lot of people on the trail (especially on our way out) so Nim got some good people watching in. He even got some attention.

I hadn't been on the Boulder Garden Loop since the forest fire over the summer and was expecting to see some sign of it but I saw nothing. I don't know that the fire actually reached this trail but it got close.

I have to admit, I wanted to see a bit how the hillside got changed, but it must be further off trail and this wasn't a day for random exploring!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Mystery Quilt Page 11 - Layout...Take 1

This weekend is so much better for me than last weekend was. The sun is shining and for once I don't have a test I need to finish or something I need to study.

We were heavily clouded in yesterday so I had to get a quick hike in up high to see any sun and then Nim settled in for sleeping while I finished my final test to do volunteer tax prep work.

I didn't finish until later at night, but I was so excited when I finished last night that I stayed up late watching the final Twilight movie. Wow.

Today we have sun! Emile watched the humming birds and Nim and I put some yard time in so I could clean up storm damage and contemplate my garden. Why can I not grow winter crops?

Finally it was time to tackle the 2014 Mystery Quilt layout I have been dreading. You can see the actual sashing design on page 11 of the pattern.

One of the more valuable things that came out of this layout process is that I have decided I really like the star layout for the red and the other layout for the yellow. I especially like it when they end up together. But even in the above photo from a distance I think the red themed block does better in the star layout.

I also learned I need to make some more flying geese block which I am moderately annoyed about, but I didn't read the directions well.

I have more yellow theme blocks than red theme blocks. Fair enough. I will need to think about that from a layout perspective. But you can see what happened because I ran out of flying geese for the yellow blocks.

Perhaps all the sections without a middle sashing I will do two yellows together?

But I did really like the yellow next to the red star. So maybe not. At least my main blocks can get sewn as the cats are already messing with the floor layout while I type this.

Unfortunately this won't be the last time I need to lay the entire quilt out. I can already tell that. Let me know your thoughts on it so far!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Mystery Quilt Pages 7 - 10

Finally I am getting caught up a bit on my sewing. I am also at layout stage and welcome opinions!

Page 7 allowed me to get a lot of small pieces put together and save them from the cats.

I pushed right to the edge to make enough of these 4 patches. I think I was going through my scraps in the end to make the last two.

Page 8 made some very interesting blocks that were almost a bit too yellow for my preference, but I liked them in the larger blocks.

Page 9 is my first page of messing with layout, I haven't done any final sewing yet, but I prefer the one on the right (looks more like a star). I think the red really helps out some rather dull looking pinwheels too.  

As you can see with the Page 10 blocks, the yellow is saved a bit in the larger block context. Again I have a preference to the block on the right but in this case I actually like them both. I think I just like stars.

Once I make a decision I need to sew both the page 9 and page 10 blocks and then start messing with the overall quilt layout. 

I suppose I could do a mix of all types of blocks, but considering I already went scrappy it will be too much chaos for me.

Rain storm is coming in...might be a good sewing weekend.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Family Dog January 1, 2014 5 Minute Ticker

Good morning! I want to sew right now but I have too much other stuff I need to get done. Arguably blogging is not one of those items.

My fabric more or less survived the night with minimal rearranging, but Emile did eat several of my post-its that were marking piles.

I do want to do a post about our Fun Run and Family Dog in Kent, WA yesterday. Cindy came out to support and film us. Nim loves her.

The Family Dog facility is nice and the people were helpful. The woman running the Rally ring handles Bernese Mountain dogs and she was a pleasure to watch. She went into the ring twice and I really watched her because she is handling a tall dog as well so it was good for me to watch how she works. She was a very clean and quiet handler.

It was somewhat tight moving between rings if you have a dog with space issues, but everyone is pretty professional there and to be honest it isn't much different than dealing with a show environment in that regard. All of us really were focusing on the same stuff and really supportive of each other.

There were three rings going: 2 for obedience and 1 for rally. I enjoyed watching the obedience quite a bit. I wouldn't mind trying that out next time I get a chance to attend.

We paid for 2, 5 minute tickers. I had never done this before and thankfully a handler went before me so I realized that basically the ring is yours for 5 minutes.

I have added the links for the two videos for the day. These links are actually more for me from a journal perspective and they might be kind of boring and long to watch. If you were going to watch one, I would watch our second time in.

Personally observations:

  • We were sloppy and I had poor timing in more than one spot. 
  • I often cued way too late going into a sign which didn't help our form.
  • My life would be so much easier if there wasn't leash requirements at the Novice level. 
  • Nim and I truly had a great time and were totally engaged together. 
  • I need to slow down if I have any prayer of cleaning up some of our work.
  • However speed and energy keeps Nim focused and his recovery was nice. 
  • Thankful for cages on the dog dishes...each one had a biscuit which he never got to self-reward on.
  • Our number one goal right now is focus in new areas and I think we did that well.
  • We had fun - it was the perfect start to the new year.

1st time in ring - 5 minute ticker
2 time in ring - 5 minute ticker

Big thank you to Cindy for filming, supporting, and giving Nim all the attention he demands.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Mystery Quilt - Pages 5 & 6

I am SO tempted to sew longer, but I am pooped and my cats are galloping across all my laid out pieces because it is time for bed. This is always the riskiest stage to leave my projects. I have so many parts all over the house right now. Who knows where they will be tomorrow.

So I have completed both pages 5 and 6, which were basically both steps to create several Flying Geese blocks just with different fabric choices.

I have spent some time catching up on the forum and seeing other people's work.

We had the option to just do a handful of each page so we could start laying out blocks, but since I know there is always a chance I have to walk away from a project, often for weeks, I try to get one stage done entirely.

So basically I have a ton of Flying Geese blocks. Hopefully more work will get done at some point tomorrow or during the week. I have really enjoyed this patterns so far.

Good night.

2014 Mystery Quilt - Pages 2, 3, 4

Finally some 2014 Mystery Quilt progress!

Page 2 was the first set of cutting instructions:

Page 3 was sewing instructions that opened on December 31st but I wasn't organized enough to start.


Group 2:

Page 4 was sewing instruction for strips.

Group 3:

Group 4:

Leela is trying to look innocent as she creeps in on my work.

I am very far behind and I know I won't get as far as tonight as I have in past years, but still glad I am participating.

Welcome 2014!

Well it is afternoon already and I have done zero sewing on the mystery quilt...I am not even done cutting. Still, it has already been a great day and sewing is about to begin.

We welcomed in the New Year with a fun match at Family Dog in Kent and then a walk with Jackson and his human Cindy. The fun match went great and I will probably do a post on that experience later, but I would go there again. Very worthwhile practice.

Jackson and Nim did a walk on the Soos Creek Trail. The weather today is cool, but beautiful.

Getting two dogs to stand next to each other and look the same direction for a photo is always a challenge. :) They were happy pups on their walk.

Upon reflection I have decided I don't feel the need to post any 2014 goals. :) Most days I live a decent life which is an accomplishment enough and I think we all know I need a more steady income so no need to state a goal about that one. With a steady income other currently stuck items become unstuck.

2013 goals in review (detailed post if you want really want to read them):

1. Teach Nim at least one "trick" per month - NO, however, I consistently trained and who knows, maybe it all averaged out. I am pleased with our overall training progress. 

2. Rally-obedience Novice title- NO. And to make matters worse I got another NQ (Not Qualifying) run in Rally-Freestyle which I thought might be finally the obedience sport I belonged in. At least Nim still puts up with me.

3. Road-trip - NO. Of all the goals I didn't accomplish this one probably hurt me the most. I think that road trips are important resets for me.

4. Once a month try and hike/walk somewhere that is not my usual places - NO - not every month. However, in August and September especially I knocked out a lot of new trails - a couple that had been past failures.

5. Finish 2 quilts - YES. More than 2.

6. Finish 2 knitting projects - NO. The sweater keeps plugging along.

7. Enter at least one quilt show - NO. I wish I hadn't forgotten this one! I actually had at least one fun candidate for this.

8. Complete this latest stage of schooling - YES. All I can say is I survived. This one was probably a bigger deal to me than when I finished my BA.

9. Do something meaningful for me when I turn 40 in February - NO!!!! OK, that is lame. I blame school.

10. Migrate this blog to WordPress - NO. And after setting up a WordPress site for a school project I am totally fine never migrating. 

I have far more NOs than YESs, but nothing I feel utter failure about, even if there is some annoyance.

For me personally, I am in a challenging stage of life that has brought for me many changes - several I wouldn't have asked for given the choice - and at the same time there was a lot of great things this year and I am grateful for that...failed goals aside. :)

Time to get sewing!