A to Z Challenge Reflection 2018

2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections

I don’t always enter a Reflections post. But I did this year and want to show it ‘on the list’, so here goes…

another challenge down in the books. It was not a sure thing even as recent as January 1st. I bought 3 separate quilting books with A to Z blocks over the last year. Two were in January. And still I was not sure until the day I signed up which was the first day of sign ups. Talk about indecisive! I brought new meaning to procrastinating this year.

Another year to shuffle job, family, blogging and taxes. I complained a time or two about how many hours a day that I work. Some don’t really consider what I do as work. I won’t go on about that but I would say being self-employed anyplace and maintaining that career for 25+ years is validation enough to call my job work. Dealing with family is mandatory. Not much ‘splainin’ to do there. Blogging with my subject matter we’ll deal with in the next paragraph. And then the Taxes. Self-employed = itemization. That means keeping each and every receipt through the year and (hopefully) not waiting til the last month to go through them to tally up expenses. Unless you’re in this household. Ug! Will I ever learn?? Hopefully this year has taught me to be on top of the receipts if nothing else. Prayers sent were greatly appreciated.

Another year to expand my quilting experience. The picking out the fabric seems simple enough. The biggest demand of time is the cutting. The sewing didn’t even take as long normally. I say normally because a few times there were blocks that were a true challenge for me. And I loved my fabric choices this year. When each block was completed, I really liked each one of them.

But the down-side to my own 2018 A to Z Challenge was the fact that I did not truly like my block arrangement or the blocks when they were combined period. Each one stood alone wonderfully. But the quilt top left much to be desired by yours truly. I blame myself for not buying a little more fabric to fix that “one” in the middle–the Indian Square block. I will go ahead and leave it as is and hand quilt it. It’ll be a conversation piece for sure. But if there’s a quilt theme for me next year, it will be done way in advance, with ample fabric, and a different color scheme.

To reward myself, I purchased a t-shirt this year for my 5th year completion. Thank you for making these an option each year. It came in the mail Monday. Atoztshirt

Thank you to everyone who dropped in, liked, commented or supported me in any way during this challenge. This includes family and friends. I’m truly blessed to have such a phenominal circle of well-wishers.

And finally, thank you to all our hosts and co-hosts this year who went above and beyond to make this the best and most cohesive challenge yet. I truly appreciate all your time and energy invested in making our challenge a possibility this year and in years past. I’m convinced it’s a labor of love. A love for encouraging writers from all walks of life. I’ll be nominating you for sainthood just for the record.

Click here to see the latest information from the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. There is a link to the Master List for this year, a survey, reflections link and coming up is an A to Z Road Trip. I hope you can check it all out.

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And Z is the End/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

My original plan was to exhibit last years quilt top for you. At the time of this writing this won’t happen.But I do have a finished quilt top from this year’s A to Z. After all, last year is old news and why not give you a look at this years?! The arrangements were layed out in various fashion for my family to put in their 2 cents worth of advice. I was forced to keep the Indian Square block in a central location. This is because of it being the rogue block that was 15 1/2 inches compared to all the other 12 inch blocks.

Can I say how this kept me up all night? Can I also say how much I disliked the person who was responsible for writing the incorrect templates down in the book? I was ready to pull my hair out.

Image result for pulling my hair out gif

These were the possiblities below.

The blocks are not in A to Z order. Instead, I chose to arrange them in a visually pleasing arrangement. Had I been able to keep all of them in a 2-color scheme, that order might have been possible. But as we say ’round here, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

So the last factor in the end result this year is a lack of fabric. You would think that with 4 fabrics in this quilt project, there would be enough to do what was needed. But no. There is no extra fabric left on this project. Not enough to put sashings around every block. Not enough to correct the Indian Square block either. That being said, I hope you like what I came up with.

I present the 2018 A to Z Quilt “The Thunderbird”:

2018atozfinish

2018 A to Z Quilt top

Ozark slang for the last day of the 2018 A to Z is /Zero for No Count Good For Nothin’.

This means you are counted in the lowest of the lows. And the person telling you this, should they be brave/angry enough to say it to your face, should be backed away from pdq(pretty damn quickly). You may be in danger of a punch in the nose. (And no, I would not punch the author of the book in the nose just for the record.)

Thank you all so much for stopping in each day, or even once or twice during this challenge. I appreciate all the likes and comments and encouragement so much. To my fellow bloggers, I will be spending some time catching up on all your wonderful posts the next week or two.  Happy Trails to you all!!

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you can spend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Hither and Yon/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

This block used all 4 fabrics I had selected for this challenge. It’s the last block I’m making for the quilt as I will be putting it all together for the Letter Z post. The number of blocks I now have work out into an even pattern. And I even found a way to use that larger 15 inch block (Indian Squares).

 

Hither & yon is an Ozark slang that I don’t hear very often. Mostly it would’ve been something used by the old-timers back at our Community Building gathering days. We had gatherings for 4-H, The Women’s Club, Voter events, and I even had a bridal shower held at the old Manila schoolhouse that I’m referring to.

 

 

Hither_Yon2

Hither & Yon block

Hither & yon is an Ozark slang that I don’t hear very often anymore. Mostly it would’ve been something used by the old-timers back at our Community Building gathering days. We had gatherings for 4-H, The Women’s Club, Voter events, and I even had a bridal shower held at the old Manila schoolhouse that I’m referring to. But to keep from rambling hither & yon, let’s keep on topic. The phrase, hither & yon would have been used to refer to a loose cow or hog that ran in all directions; in a disorganized fashion.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Mosaic X/ #AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

The Mosaic X block is pretty straight-forward in its appearance as a letter. I like it probably the most just because of the early childhood teacher in me. And I mean how could you go wrong by making a quilt of X’s for some little one who likes pirates for instance? Or an X’s & O’s combination also comes to mind for a Valentine’s Day gift. Of course, there’s always the idea of using up your scrap stash of light and dark fabrics for some colorful X’s in a quilt. Which would you prefer??

MosaicX2

Mosaic X block

Ozark slang  expletive moments

When I was growing up, anyone heard rattling off an expletive (curse word) or sassin’ (back-talking) their elders might have been met with some sayings like these:

  • You’re achin’ for a breakin’
  • You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’
  • You’re itchin’ for a lickin’
  • Hush!
  • Watch your mouth!
  • You’d best not let me hear that again!
  • Tan your hide
  • Go git me a switch
  • I’ll fix your wagon (meaning your attitude is about to get put in its place)

 

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you can spend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Wagon Tracks/ #AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

Wagon Tracks is a combination of familiar patterns. The 2 patterns I speak of are the 4-patch and the half-triangle square. With these two it’s easy to mix and match to come up with alternatives. For this block, the name selection is easy to understand. It has direction and appearance as a ‘track’.

An advantage to this type of quilt block is that it can be easily chain-pieced for quick assembly. The photo below demonstrates how a series of similar pieces can be sewn in a continuous fashion for efficiency. Less cutting, stopping and starting; more uninterrupted sewing.

Wagontracks3

chain piecing

The final product is this eye-catching block. It resembles a Jacob’s Ladder pattern to me. Maybe I’ll find the one that I finished q to show you sometime. For now I’m pressed for time. Mother has a pretty major surgery Thursday morning and I’m hoping to have a chance to post before too late in the day. It is an hour drive to the hospital and she’s guaranteed a 3 to 4 day stay minimum.

Wagontracks4

Wagon Tracks block

What parts do you’all come from = Ozark slang

The you’all is a continuous word that flows naturally. It’s not ya’ll as in the deep South. More of a roll off the tongue word that sounds like it’s supposed to be one word. I’m pretty sure my sister and I will hear this inquiry during our extended time in the waiting room waiting on Mother’s surgery. And our ‘parts’ is our town or the closest one to us.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here

Hill and Valley/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

For the 22nd letter of this A to Z (and one yet to be revealed), I’m just hoping the ‘V’ in the title will do. For the sake of keeping my quilt blocks uniform, I needed to choose a block that didn’t need any extra color choices than I’ve already used. To be quite frank, I need to stay away from the fabric store as long as possible in order to use up my rather large fabric supply.

You see, there is such a thing as Too Much of a Good Thing. And my fabric collection is the perfect example. By the time I use what I have, the Vintage fabric in my stash will be Archaic. Besides that, there is obviously a monetary side to all this fabric purchasing.  So enough of this blubbering about the letter choice I made for this block. Let’s see it finished!

Hill_valley2

Hill & Valley block

Vittles = Ozark slang

I have been slippin’ in my usage of this word. It was used back in the day during all those reruns of ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and so I took it for granted that my daughters would know what it meant. But alas, they did not and looked at me with that sideways glance all parents recognize when they’ve clearly dated themselves. So, for you young whippersnappers who don’t know the definition to this word, it means Food. Whether serving Dinner- Supper- Breakfast – Snack- and 2nd Snack, these are all vittles. Its thought to be a terrible mispronunciation of the word victuals which is a proper word meaning the same as above.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Unnamed/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

I’ve encountered a few blocks while searching books this past couple years that are called ‘Unnamed’. They have good reason I’m sure to leave them without a name. But for me this one would be called “Knocked It Outta the Park”.

I was fortunate enough to locate a YouTube tutorial on setting in piecing for quilt blocks. It was provided by Fon’s and Porter and to them I want to shout out a huge Thank You! After watching it, I had success, Finally!

There may be hope for me yet on that unique Ohio Star block after this little teaching aid. I need to mention that I don’t have the little tool they promoted in this video. But I have to say that after sewing since a youngster, I’m pretty confident in my ability on where to place a 1/4 inch mark. I have photos to prove it.

And this is the way it’s supposed to work….no puckers and lays flat.

Unnamed4

Mitered /set-in piecing/ Big hallelujah!

And finally the whole block picture.

Unnamed6

Unnamed Block

Take a gander- Ozark slang for the day

I’m using this term to go along with today’s topic. I could have said I took a gander at that YouTube video. But instead I mentioned watching it. Glad you all took a gander at my blog post today and I hope you are all having great success in this year’s A to Z Challenge.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Twister/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

I am afraid I got ahead of myself with this block and neglected to take a fabric-layout pic. So for this quilt block you merely get a book illustration pic. That’s what happens when you’re on a roll and making progress.

Twister1

Book Illustration

About this block. Twister is another word for tornado and we have plenty of them around here. This is Tornado Alley and when we added on to my house, a basement was the main goal. Not a giant great room, den or master bedroom. Those would have been the current, favored thing to have. But as I’ve said, the basement was the objective and I wouldn’t change a thing. I did end up with an extra bathroom in the deal though. Everyone knows the ‘tornado’ you can get in a home with 3 girls struggling for shower turns. It saved lives as much as we hope the basement will.

Twister

Twister Block

Talkin’ Up a Storm = Ozark Slang for today seems to be appropriate with this quilt block. It is self-explanatory in my opinion. But just in case you don’t get it, it refers to a person who is talkative; more talkative than usual. And the reference to a storm gives the indication that they are lasting quite awhile—as in a long, spring thunderstorm.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Queens Crown/ #AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

This quilt block is going to be in the top 3 favorites for me personally. I am partial to these basket-esque blocks and this one gives the appearance of a mirrored image basket. The fact that its title doesn’t reflect that is no matter to me. It still has the style I love. And it’s not difficult; so there’s that.

Something I haven’t discussed is fussy-cut quilt blocks. The Queen’s Crown could take on a whole new bejeweled look with some changes in the points.  For a scrap fabric hoarder like yours truly, this is definitely something I will consider. The only decision left is whether to go for a saphire, emerald or topaz colored ‘crown’? Or maybe all the above such as in the picture below I’ve found via Pinterest.

Scrappy Fabrics Flower Baskets Easy Pre-Cut Quilt Block Kit

Picture from Pinterest

Queenscrown2

Queen’s Crown block

Quitchur makes the Ozark slang list for letter ‘Q’. We have another instance of combining two words for one. Quit your is replaced with the slang and said when you are in a hurry to complete a statement. Such as ‘Quitchur lollygaggin and hurry up or we’ll be late!’ I hope you can assertain from the context that lollygaggin is a synonym for taking your sweet time. I am guilty as charged for using this one. The danger for not listening to this first attempt at speeding them up is that in the next breath, Quit Your comes out very clearly and you know you are about to get left behind.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you canspend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.

Ohio Star/#AtoZ

The April A to Z Blog Challenge is an annual blogging event in which participants blog every day (except Sundays) one post for each letter of the alphabet for the entire month. My theme for the year will be “Quilts and Ozark Slang.” So gitchur cuppa coffee or sodapop, grab a pilluh, and sit a spell.

There were several choices in the book I was referencing for the A to Z Challenge for the Letter O. And this one seemed like a good choice. The Ohio Star is a very popular block, but this one is a different take on it.

 I learned one thing this time. It would be best to pin and pivot the needle on this type of block. I also need my machine to cooperate and not wadd up the thread under my fabric when sewing, but I’ll save that topic for another time. The real concern in sewing blocks with pivoting is that I need to learn to better ‘set in’ those kinds of pieces. My question is this…is it any better with paper piecing? I intend to find out this coming year. Til then, as I say to my kiddos, You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Here’s my feeble attempt, puckers and all.

Ohionoteveragainstar2

Ohio (neveragain) Star

Oh for Pete’s sake, you’d think I’d killed your dog! = Ozark slang of the day.

You are being over dramatic about something. Dogs are often a best friend or part of the family and the idea of that loss is upsetting. But you know what they are unhappy about is not anything nearly that tragic. Get a grip in other words.

There are many more wonderful blogs this year that I hope you can spend a couple minutes reading. All you have to do is click here and select something that interests you. To read about the A to Z Challenge and what we are all about, click here.