Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Mystery Continues...and BIG Events Happen!

Before the Grand Illusion Mystery began, I decided that if I participated, I would do my best to complete each clue as it was given each week. I figured that it would be easier to KEEP up, than to have to CATCH up. By Wednesday of this past week, I finally finished all of the pieces for the first clue. However, I felt like the Mystery was almost all I was working on!

So when the second clue came out on Friday, I got very busy. I used the second method Bonnie gave, printing out the diamond-shaped template and taping it to the Easy Angle ruler. I stacked my strips 4-high and began cutting. Then I pulled out my Accuquilt Go! cutter and cut out all of the triangles. Laura sometimes cranked the cutter for me, but mostly she just stacked and organized the pieces.

I got about 10 blocks made of the second clue Friday evening, just to see if everything went together as it should and was pleased to find that they were fairly close to perfect! Then on Saturday, I sewed almost nonstop until ALL the blocks were finished! It was a marathon sewing session--I figured it took about 7 hours (1 hour per 15 blocks) to get them all completed. It will be nice to be able to link them to Bonnie's Link-Up on Monday. Now this week I can sew without the pressure of more blocks needing to be sewn--at least until next Friday!

Mary, Laura and a friend
The big event of this past week was of course, LAURA'S BIRTHDAY!! She turned 28 on Thursday, but kept confusing the date with the number of years and said she was 4!

Becca and Charles (Dad)

Every year on Laura's birthday, our daughter, Rebecca plans a cookie baking activity with lots of friends from church. The goodies are really a gift for Charles--after the friends take a few treats home, we package up the rest onto plates and then Charles takes them to give to neighbors, friends and people we care about. The activity is scheduled on Laura's birthday so that she will be surrounded by friends and people she loves on her most favorite holiday!

You can tell Laura has become a true quilter--she was as excited about the spools of thread she received as just about anything else!

Laura goes to bed when we do, but doesn't normally wake up in the mornings until 1-2 hours after we've gotten up. I've had some projects I wanted to make for her and I didn't want her to see them. So I started getting up early each morning to work on them. In fact, I've been enjoying having that time to sew ALONE so much, that I've continued doing it everyday, regardless of what I'm working on. I made Laura's birthday pincushion during those morning hours and this week I made her this calendar cozy for a Christmas gift.

Laura LOVES calendars! She probably has a dozen of them hanging and displayed in her room--magnetic calendars, dry-erase calendars, calendars from every business in town and page-a-day calendars. Laura can't tell time, but she CAN tell what day it is, so she wears a watch, but it has to be one that shows the date. Same with the clock in her room. The first of every month is an exciting time for her, as we change all the calendars in the house to a new month! So I figured this calendar cozy would be something she would love to receive.

Gwen performing, with Piano Teacher looking on

On an entirely different and non-quilting note, on Saturday I participated in my 3rd piano recital. I love the piece I played, a medley of "Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine," "Still, Still, Still" and "Rocking Carol." However, I decided that this will probably be the last time I participate in a recital. I don't mind playing accompaniment at church or while people are singing (although that still makes me plenty nervous!), but performing just makes me too stressed. At my age, I'll simply continue to practice 1-2 hours a day and learn new pieces for my own personal pleasure rather than to entertain an audience.

How's this for a small project?

We're nearing the end of another year and it's time to be thinking about goals for next year. I always begin my goal setting process by reviewing the accomplishments of the previous year. Sometimes it seems like I didn't do much, but then when I look more closely, it can be surprising what really got done! My big surprise from looking back over 2014 was how few large projects I made. The only actual quilt I made from start to finish was the brown chevron quilt for my son and his wife.

I quilted a handful of tops, but except for those, almost all my projects this year were small--table toppers/runners, pillows (lots of those), wall hangings (lots of those too), place mats, purses and bags, sewing machine covers, curtains, and a few lowly pincushions! I wondered why my shelves and bins of fabric were getting so full--I've only been using bits and pieces of them, but at the same time, I've been buying more! So some of my major goals for 2015 will be to 1) NOT buy more fabric, and 2) make lots more large projects and use the fabric I've already got.

Laura, on the other hand, has finished about 5 lap to twin size quilts this year. I'm certain I will be enlisting her help in 2015 in my attempts to bust my stash! And with that said, it's time for me to get busy...and Get More Done!


  1. You got so much done this week. Great job in getting caught up on the mystery sewing. Happy Birthday to Laura!!

  2. Sounds like a fun birthday bash and the table of goodies look so yummy.

  3. I love this post. I'd be that happy for a pack of good thread on my birthday, too. I'm so impressed that you finished Clue 2 already! Mine is all cut out, but only 1 block and a few diamond units so far. I'm aiming for this stage with each clue until Christmas Day passes, then I want to go crazy and catch it up and keep pace.

  4. Happy Birthday Laura her birthday looks like a lot of fun. I would be thrilled with thread for a gift also. Good goals for next year. But even getting lots of small stuff is accomplishing things. Have a blessed day.

  5. Great party! You are really keeping up with the Mystery.