Thursday, December 27, 2018

Year-End Recap and a New Machine!

Hello! Did you all have a nice Christmas? Ours was alternately quiet and then busy with family - just the perfect mix of down time and fun time. But too much food, even if it was mostly healthy. There are the yummy neighbor gifts, of course. And then the cookies I ended up baking “for Bruce” (well, they were for him, but it’s not like I ignored them....) And even some margaritas. Cousin Kim and I got some sewing time in this week and drank some skinny Margaritas while listening to Jimmy Buffet’s Christmas album, LOL. And they were both surprisingly good!  New Year’s Eve here is just a quiet time with the cats. We do stay up until midnight if for no other reason than all the racket that everyone in the ‘hood makes at midnight!

One fun thing we did is give our oldest Grandson, Easton, his usual Christmas cash. He’s a sophomore in college (nuclear engineering) and any money he gets supplements his earnings from scholarships and working part-time at In-n-Out. But this year we put a different spin on it. I saw a picture on Pinterest where someone had used a 2-pound candy box and put in coins, folded dollar bills (of varying denominations), etc. So, we did the same thing. And then re-wrapped it so it didn’t even look as though it had ever been opened. Seriously, though, the big bills we put into his Christmas card, and the candy box was filled with about $50 in coins and bills. Everyone loved it! He was a bit puzzled at first by the “candy” gift (but infinitely too polite to say anything), but laughed heartily when he opened it.

And here is Easton with his sister Lauren. You may remember that Lauren accompanied her mom and me to Kenya last July.

I was going to combine my recap post for 2018 with a looking-ahead post for 2019, but decided that would be too much. So, I’ll just do the recap here and save the new project introductions for my next post.

Because I’m an organized person for the most part, I use a personal written planner, spreadsheets, and online goal groups (like the Finish-Along and One Monthly Goal) to keep track of my goals and progress on them. Truly, no UFO (UnFinished Object) is left behind in my studio!

In December, I finished All You Need is Love,  a kids’ donation quilt two Rainbow selvage quilts, and a table runner.  You’ve seen pictures in previous posts of the quilts, so I’ll spare you. But here is the table runner I made for my friend Terri. It’s similar to the one that I made for us, but these reds and greens are prettier fabric!

Here is a collage of my favorite nine quilts that I made in 2018.

Top, L-R:
AB Baby - a baby quilt for daughter Stacy on the birth of DGD Evie in June
Autumn Sampler, sewn late last year but finished in January
Dancing in September - A Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) quilt of bowtie blocks

Middle, L-R:
Starry, Starry Day - finished in January
Groovy Guitars - finished in August for DH Bruce
All You Need is Love - for daughter Megan, finished in December

Bottom, L-R:
Linked Squares - another RSC quilt finished in August
Exploding Boxes - a RSC quilt finished in November
Orange Lozenges - finished in September

And here is a collage of all my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts completed this year EXCEPT the two selvage quilts I finished last week. Some of these overlap with my 9 favorites in the above collage.

Top L-R:           Pawsitivity 2; Squared Away Sampler; Dancing in September
Middle L-R:      Rainbow Strings; Starry, Starry Day; Geese Migration
Bottom L-R:     Linked Squares; Exploding Boxes, Pawsitivity I

All my quilts are shown in my Quilt Gallery (2012-2018). You can check out the blue link just under the header. I plan to start a new page for Quilts 2019-? this year.

And finally, I’ve been worried for weeks about what I would do for a back-up sewing machine when Bernadette (my Bernina 550QE) went in for her annual spa treatment after Christmas. I do have a friend at Weight Watchers who is also a quilter, and she has a Singer Featherweight (white) that she’s going to sell me - but I won’t see her until January. My poor Kenmore sewing machine is so frail; he was serviced last year and the motor is dying. Bruce said he can replace the motor if we can find a new one, so we’re on the lookout.

So, I took Bernadette in and looked at their trade-ins at the shop yesterday. They had a Brother Innovus (2 years old) - solid state metal insides, not the cheap plastic models they sell to big box retailers. Anyway, it does embroidery (which is NOT a feature I was looking for or even care about) and has a hard case and a soft cover. Also, since its previous owner bought it there and then traded up to a bigger embroidery machine, they offered to continue the remaining 4 years of the original 6 year manufacturer’s warranty. The price? Only $399, and they cleaned and oiled it, threw in a pack of 12 bobbins, a bottle of oil, and a quarter inch foot. Needless to say, it came home with me, and I’ve been sewing happily away on it. It has an automatic thread cutter, which my Bernina doesn’t have AND an automatic needle threader. The Bernina has that, but it’s awful and never ever works for me. Bernina is not known for their needle threading prowess!

What’s with all the Disney crap stuff on the machine? It’s pre-programmed with lots of Disney embroidery designs. Apparently, Brother is the only sewing machine manufacturer licensed with Disney. So, it looks like a kid’s machine, but I so do not care! However, I still have have to name it, LOL. Not a Disney name, though.

So Bruce and I talked, and will still buy the Featherweight. It’s going to be our gift to Cousin Kim, whose Kenmore motor is also failing. Her Kenmore is only 2 years newer than mine (mine is a ’74, hers is a ’76), so they’re both over 40 years old. Now we’ll have two happy endings!!

Have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! We’ll see you on the other side!!

Linking up to:  Rainbow Scrap Challenge.


  1. All your quilts are so bright and cheerful. I love seeing your Christmas village quilt on the wall! Looks like you got a good deal on the new machine. I LOVE my thread cutter, especially when paper piecing, but I have to be careful and not pull my pieces out too fast.

  2. What a lovely collection of finishes. I can't decide which one I want to copy first, but I think Exploding boxes will be the one. And I really should develop a plan to tackle some of my UFO's so I won't feel guilty (ha ha) about starting something new.
    Happy New Year.

  3. What beautiful finishes for 2018--Congrats on your new-to-you machine...hope you will enjoy sewing on it...
    We also had a busy-quiet Holiday...We met with family and celebrated on Christmas Eve and then had "just the two of us" on Christmas day--sleeping in and generally
    lazing about...NICE!!
    Wishing you and yours a Healthy and Happy New Year--hugs, Julierose
    P.S. are you joining in Lori's (Humble quilts blogspot) string-along ? I will be making a small piece with "cut-offs" strings...

  4. There is no way I could pick out favorites of your quilts! They are all my favorites!
    I can't wait to see everything you do in the new year. Hopefully, I will be sharing some of mine...though I believe they will pale in comparison to yours. It's okay! I am learning so much from you!!!

    Happy New Year to you and Bruce! Be safe, but have fun!

  5. Molly loves your idea of using a spread sheet to keep track of your quilts in progress...and wants me to do the same. But, of course, she thinks it means spreading a sheet over the pile to hide the mess.

  6. I have been one to spread a sheet to hide a mess, so I definitely understand that one! Don't know how to do a spread sheet, on a computer nor understand the meaning... but sounds like if one does understand it, it could be a great idea!

  7. Great to see so many your quilts in one place like this! You truly have your own, distinctive style, Cathy. The chocolate box full of money is a fabulous gift idea, love it. And congrats on your new Disney machine, ha ha! :)

  8. I hope your new machine brings many happy hours of trouble-free stitching despite the Disney affliction! It was inspiring to see all your 2018 quilts - I'm always amazed by how much you accomplish!

  9. Great idea for disguising your grandson's gift. Love the collages of your quilts. I was happily perusing the Rainbow quilts, since I'm getting my ducks in a row for the challenge. You got a great deal on the Brother. I have to laugh because every time Nic comes into my "Office" which is what he calls my sewing room because that's where my computer is too, he looks at my Viking and says he wants to make something on that "Big Boy". SMH and LOL.
    Happy New Year
    xx, Carol

  10. Oh, I love seeing all your fabulous finishes! (If I finish one quilt a year, I regard it as a success...)
    My goodness, that new machine really is a bit Disneycentric, isn't it? Not going to name it Minnie, then?
    My Brother also has an auto thread cutter, which I just started using when quilting and I'm wondering how I ever did without it. And the auto needle threader is the BEST! (I still giggle every time I use it!)

  11. wow! you've been prolific AND colorful! great job! and congrats on the new machine!

  12. Wow. I LOVE ALL your Bright, Happy, Fun, Colorful Quilts!

  13. Congrats on a year that was SEW productive (and on the new-to-you back-up machine, too!!)

  14. You're such a great finisher, Cathy! I'm always so impressed and love your beautiful quilts. How fun to find such a great deal on the new-to-you sewing machine, too! Enjoy and happy new year!

  15. So many beautiful rainbow quilts. Love the Disney characters on your new machine, it really calls for a cataracter name of some sort. Glad that you have a backup for when your main machine is getting fixed. It would be sad to not be able to sew.

  16. I've been working on a bit of a recap post for my blog too, but it's pretty paltry in comparison with yours! And I love the chocolate money box idea - MUCH less fattening and a whole lot more fun than the real thing! I'm sure that gift will be talked about for years. I am being very good and not asking what became of the original innards from the box - nope, not gonna ask. Looking forward to seeing your plans for 2019 (happy new year!!).

  17. Oh, joy! Such beauties. How will you top that in 2019?

    My sister used to give her kids money in weird ways like that. It was fun for all. They never knew what to expect and since she gave them lots of different food type gifts they never knew which one had money in it.

    Too bad about the Kenmore. Mine is still hanging in there as a backup. I'm thinking about fixing up the old Singer treadle that used to belong to my husband's grandmother. I think when they starting putting electronics in sewing machines (and everything else) that was the downfall. I've had a low end Brother I purchased from a dealer for about five years. I bought it to replace a Janome. It was a nice machine for three years and then it's been nothing but problems. And the tech guy is an (expletive deleted). He and the Janome tech guy say I sew too much for the machine I purchased. And to think I've never ever needed a tech guy for my Kenmore and I made all the family clothes on it for years.

    Looking forward to 2019!


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