Saturday, January 30, 2016

The end of January, ALREADY!

The older I get the faster that times seems to fly. Is this true or is it just a conceptualization of perspectives? Whatever it is, there is no disguising that we are already at the end of the first month of 2016, with very little to show for it.

A date with the surgeon and the subsequent post-operative sequelae has led to a very non-productive rest of the month, after our foray to New York City. Drugged and unable to concentrate for any great length of time  is a very disconcerting  feeling. So, away go the drugs and I will deal with the pain. It has slowly abated to where only an occasional tylenol is needed. Yeah! My head is finally clear and I am raring to go again, although still house bound and unable to walk more than a short distance at one time. This date also meant that I had to learn how to start and stop my sewing using the Stop/Start button rather than the foot pedal. Can't put the pressure on my foot like I would normally do. All in all a completely new learning curve. LOL You should see me when I forget to hit the Stop button - the air definitely turns blue.

As soon as I get mobile, I want to go to the storage unit and see if I have any wool that is adequate and in a great colour for DGDs socks. If not then I need to order some. They might get completed for Christmas. LOL

the end of 2015 brought us to the end of the year's Row by Row Experience. And what a year it was: We ended with >1900 row patterns, collected by our little roving band of quilters. We were a busy group. And January brings us to the new "Experience", with a whole new theme:
Home Sweet Home
Oh the possibilities here. I even found some very neat fabrics for backings already. Hmmmmm did I already order them? So now back to business of organization.

I have managed to get a few of the tiny blocks (3 1/2" unfinished) completed for the 365Challenge out of Australia. As I had wanted to use up a jelly roll that I had available, I started off with it. Even though we are currently only doing the dark palettes at the moment, I am so dissatisfied with how they look. I will continue to work on them at least until I get some lights to put with them before I make a final decision about them. For me, they are simply too drab and blah.
 Maybe it is because the colours are more conducive to bigger blocks than smaller ones. 
I have managed to cut and prepare 4 more of these little suckers and still the colours do not talk to me. I will keep chugging along.

I did manage to get some focal fabric and matching strips cut for a table runner that I would like to have for Mardi Gras on Feb 9. This is fabric that I had found and purchased last year while in New Orleans. I will make a redo of the Jinny Beyer's 2014 Row by Row. 

And then we have the new numbers out for the Numbers Game.
Low number is #7 
Other number is #21 
On my list, #7 is DS#2s quilt which means a Star Wars quilt. I have the started fabrics in the storage unit and I know that I need more so this will be an ongoing endeavor, probably in the Fab4 for the month. And again, no #21. Using this as an extra bonus, I will continue to work on Mom's Quilt in order to get it completed.

To end the month I found myself ordering some more supplies. The Benetrex Fossil Fern fabrics have appealed to me for a long time now and I finally bit the bullet. Craftsy had a flat of the complete medley in FQs on sale for half price. So there you have it! Now to find the Star Wars fabric that I need to get that one done.

We are now ensconced in a park for a week where I can get out Miss Betsy and go full speed ahead.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Socks? Socks?

Well, as the DGD asked for socks I had to look for a free pattern. Found this one:
from  as a free download. Does this look like Brooke? Now to gather some "WOOL" and figure out how to knit them without scratching myself to a bloody pulp.

Today I continued to work on the NYB foundation papers. Decided that  my hurried start before new years needed to be done better, thus making it so much easier to do. Done and ready to cut out the first of the block pieces from the strips already cut.

As I would only be sewing tonight, I have decided to not get out Miss Betsy nor Miss Fanny - simply not enough time to sew after setting up and taking down. So instead I will adjust my sweater pattern and start on the sleeves.

Till this weekend ...

So what about my actual plans for the New Year?

So what about my actual plans for the New Year? Not resolutions mind you, just plans, and they can change at the drop of a hat. As I sat down making out my spreadsheets, I realized that I have many, many UFOs in various medias. The JOT and FAB4 mechanisms from Stashbusters are going to be very helpful. But the main thing, I think, is that I need to reorient myself to completing things rather starting new projects.

With that said, I find that I have 2 new starts that have to be done this year added to the "must do's" that are already in progress. So I am thinking that I am going be a busy person.
So here goes:
2015 UFOs:                                         2016 New Starts:
Mom's Quilt                                          365Challenge
DS#1s Magic Cube                                Hexie quilt
DS#2s Star Wars
DIL#2s quilt
DGDog#1 Toby's quilt
DGD#2 Buddy's quilt
Row by Rows x3
Fall/T-day table topper
Dash cover
DGDs 2nd pillowcase
2014 UFOs:
Row by Rows x2
World Traveler
OUR Quilt
... and this is only the quilting. There are a few knitting items sitting by my chair and some needlework still in the coach. Most had been moved to the storage unit and were the recipients of the fire last fall.
toque set
overcoat shawl
and DGD asked me to make her some wool socks! Guess that will be a 2016 New start  LOL
Needlework (in the coach):
Christmas crackers for mom

And so I can honestly say, I will be busy. Luckily I will be off my feet for a couple of months and will be able to work a lot on these.

Oh and I forgot - I need to update my website and blogs. Busy busy!

I am also going to keep up my spreadsheets which are now finished. Of course, they can be added to. and I am sure that I will come across new things that just "have to be started"!

So now to work!

First UFO ...

Why does the energy and drive take us to start things and work feverishly to complete already started ones as well as promises to ones self in the new year? That blank page needs to be filled maybe?!!!

I started off with good intentions as we always do. Unfortunately life got in the way: We traveled with our granddaughter to New York City and when you travel, there is no sewing machine to work on. So I took some hand sewing to finish up the first of the UFOs for the year. (3.4 yds busted)
 a table topper for fall.
While sewing it on the plane, I also realized that it would make a good lap quilt if outside - not too heavy, not too light, just right.
This was the only thing that I took with me. A good thing really as we ended up with very little time in the evenings as we filled each day to overflowing, playing tourist and seeing everything that we could to the max.

I also finished up a knitted toque which turned out to be too small for DHs head. Oh well, now I will have to make a set of it and donate it to my mother's senior's initiative. (inner city children that often have no winter coverage)

Now on to making all the lists and excel spreadsheets for the year: UFOs, JOTs, FAB4s, To do's, and NEW projects that I want to do.

And so it goes ......... Happy "busy hands"  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

counting yardage in quilts

How to compute yardage used without actually counting it (which I have really done in the past!)

Find the area of the quilt top as w" x l" = Area. 

If you use "small pieces" like 2" patches, multiply Area x 1.5. If you use "bigger pieces" like 3" patches or more, multiply Area x 1.25. 

Example: quilt top is 50" x 60" and is made of "small" pieces. 50 x 60 = 3000. 3000 x 1.5 = 4500. 

Now add the quilt back, which should be the same as the top Area. 

4500 (top) + 3000 (back) = 7500. 

Add your binding. Find your perimeter as (w + l) x 2. (50 + 60)x2 = 110x2 = 220. Multiply perimeter by width of binding. If you use 2.5" binding, 220 x 2.5 = 550 

top + back + binding = square inches 
4500 + 3000 + 550 = 8050 

Now divide square inches by 40 (WOF), then divide again by 36" for number of yards. 

8050/40 = 201.25 
201.25/36 = 5.59 yards. This seems about right for a lap quilt, including the binding. 

So this is good for keeping track of the yardage used. Now to design an excel for expenditures.....

2016: Another attempt

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day: a new year and a blank page to write on. Gone are the half finished saved blogs of last year, gone are the downer days, gone are the not so charitable thoughts, and not so gone are the UFOs of quilting and other 2 Busy Hands endeavors. Today brings all anew and it will only be what I make of it. So here I am, a blank page staring me in the face asking to be written on and I am only being positive.

Now remember, positivity is my word this year. So 2015, in a positive vein, what hapened in the world of Shirley's 2 Busy Hands?

As always, travel is a big part of our life and we did a great amount of it, both large and small. Why even a day trip can be exciting and give one a major experience. And in this context, my 2 Busy Hands often took a back seat and yet, always with a project near at hand.

The positive that came out of devastation, a fire in the storage unit where I keep my stashes, allows me now to downsize and update. What more could one ask for? Oh I lost some favourites but I will soon have more favourites and new challenges.

Like last year, I will once again join in the Stashbusters' UFO Challenge, even though I have only those projects that just happened to be in the RV at the time. I had cleaned a lot of them out so the number is low. Along with the UFO Challenge, I will also limitedly partake of the Numbers Game. And guess what, the low number is a number that I happen to have! I will always have a low number as they are between 1 and 10 but the higher ones I will find myself working on the last one for sure. For January, this month, the numbers are
3(small) and 51(large). 
My list contains:

Description Date started
1 OUR Quilt - Sampler queen 2014
2 Row by Row x 2 2014
3 Mom's Quilt 2014
4 Halloween/T-Day table topper 2015
5 NYB 2015
6 DS#1 Quilt 2015
7 DS#2 Quilt 2015
8 DIL #2 Quilt 2015
9 DGDog #1 Quilt Toby 2015
10 DGDog #2 Quilt Buddy 2015
11 Dash Cover 2015
12 Row x Row x 2 2015
13 DGD 2nd pillowcase 2015

Some of these from 2015 are very recent additions. [snicker, snicker] Of course, the fun begins as I try to do something about this list. Photos? Can I be persistent in posting them? We shall see. It is one of my "want to do's for this year.

And then, to make things even more exciting and jumbled up, I joined or at least committed to being a part of a 365 [day] Challenge out of Australia.

 This is a small part of this quilt. It is supposed to be 90" square when done but I am thinking mine will no dobt be smaller.

I am already a little late in that I just downloaded the information and decided on the colours. But the early blocks are simple ones and I will be able to get them done real fast to catch up. Of course, me thinks I will always be playing "catch up", starting this next week. We are heading out on our first jaunt of the year - a trip to New York City with our granddaughter Brooke.

As well as quilting I have UFOs under the headings of knitting, needlework and cross stitch. I will never ever want for a project, that is for sure. Some are large and others are small and portable. These go along with me when we travel. I did manage to finish up a 2015 knitting UFO - a toque and even putting a pom pom on it. Now I have to wait for more yarn to make a scarf and a pair of mitts. This will go to my mother for her charity senior's knot group that give to underprivileged children in her city. The children live in a very cold area during the winter and often go to school without any covering and warmth at all. This helps out a bit. Now to finish up a cold weather coat shawl and a brightly coloured spring/fall sweater (finally got more yarn right before Christmas).

I had numerous needlework UFOs but am unsure how many I actually have left here in the RV. I do know that the Christmas Crackers are here so they will be done before anything else. That will get a nice little pile out from beside my Laz-e-boy.

And last but not least, I will keep track of expenditures and busting. 

Can I do it? I will certainly give it a good try......