Gratifyingly Productive July

After a couple of months of NO finishes, I’m very pleased that I finished two quilts in July which completed another of my goals for the year – using up all the 2 1/2” squares and strips that I cut from thrift store shirts, skirts, etc.  I finished the scrap quilt that I was using to practice different fills in the white squares.  Just look at all that texture!

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And I finished this pretty pink baby quilt.  I used Anne Bright’s quilting design, Anne’s Garden, at an 8″ height.  It was quite tedious to quilt this at a size smaller than intended, but I love the outcome.  And it is a small quilt so only had to quilt 6 rows.  Note the faux piped binding.  I love using that technique.  It looks so special but is easy to do.

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In addition to these two finishes, I started a king-size scrap quilt for my bed.  The blocks finish at 4 inches so I need 812 blocks to get the drop that I want.  I have made and pressed in excess of 406 half-square triangle blocks.  I still need to square them up.  And I’m half done with a little over 406 four-patches.  Here are some random pictures I took along the way.

 

I’ve also started a strip quilt.  The foundations for the blocks are used dryer sheets cut into squares.  Then I just sew random strips of fabric diagonally across them until they are covered and trim to 6”.

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I hope you had some finishes in July.  Now I’m wondering what August will bring.

 

Happy Crafting,

 

Lana

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How Am I Doing On My 2019 Goals?

I just took a look back at December’s post to see how I’m doing in meeting the goals I set for myself for 2019.  In the following list that I copied from December’s post, I’ve crossed through the things that I’ve completed and added descriptions on how I am progressing.  Here goes:

  • I have 192 quad Log Cabin blocks that need to be sewn into 16 rows of 12 blocks each and those 16 rows need to be sewn together.  I have finished sewing the first row and have started the second.  I think that I will just jump on this and get it done.  It is actually going faster than I anticipated.  When all is together the borders need to be cut to size and the appliqués put on them.  Then there is the quilting and binding and labeling to do.  I really would like to complete this quilt by the end of 2019 but am thinking that I may be setting my goals a tad too high since I like to mix in other projects as I go along.
  • I have 14 appliquéd placemats to make.  The background squares are cut and ready to sew together.  The appliqués are now all stitched onto the placemats.  Ready to be quilted and then bound.
  • I have a quilt on my frame to finish quilting and three in the closet to quilt.  I finished the quilt on my frame and now have another on it half quilted.  And without realizing it, I somehow increased the number of quilts hanging in the closet waiting to be quilted from three to four.  Now how did that happen?  And after they are quilted, there will be bindings and labels to do.
  • I want to use up all the 2 1/2” squares and strips I cut from thrift store shirts, skirts, etc.  They will be sewn into quilts that will be donated.  I’ve already chosen a pattern for the next one.  Just need to decide what neutral color to use for the background.  I have a bolt of white in my stash.  That always looks nice.  All of these scraps are in quilt tops – one on the frame being quilted and two in the closet waiting their turn.  So this goal is nearing completion.
  • I’ve chosen a piece of home décor fabric from my stash to make a cover for my new Sizzix eclips2 electronic cutting machine.  I need to do that right away to keep the machine lint and dust free.  I can check this one off my list.  It is the only goal I’ve actually completed to date.
  • I want to take more online quilting classes.  I paid for a subscription and would really like to take advantage of it.  I’ve watched a lot of videos and have learned a lot.  I still have others on my list that I want to watch.
  • And I took time out for a few unplanned projects – 5 crocheted doll hats, 5 crocheted dishcloths, 1 hair scrunchie, 2 sewing machine mats with pockets, 2 hotpads, and 1 wallet.

I’m actually doing better than I thought.  Now I must get back to it.

Happy Crafting,

Lana

What Happened To June?

What with going to doctor appointments, watching our grandson play golf, and all the storms that went through, I hardly got in my sewing room.  And before I knew it, June was gone with hardly anything to show.

On the positive side, all the doctor appointments went well, and the grandson did well for a 10-year-old golfer.  He is one of the best putters in his age group but still needs to work on his distance on drives.  He has to hit the ball more times to get to the green than the other boys but manages to stay up with his awesome putting.  He placed 5th in the season.

When I was at home, I grabbed 5, 10, 15 minutes to sew whenever I could and so managed to get the appliques stitched on the Poinsettia placemats.

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And that was all folks!  Hope you managed to squeeze in a bit more crafting than I could.

Happy Crafting,

Lana

Merry, Chaotic, Tumultuous, and Stormy May

May has got to be the busiest month of the year!  Well, it is when your granddaughter is a senior and is participating in her last high school track season – three track meets in consecutive weekends and graduation the next weekend.  And on top of all that activity that grandparents love to take in, we were shopping for a car for my sister and a truck for us.  AND we also helped the middle granddaughter move.

And there was success all around.  We found a 2017 Toyota Tundra double-cab for us and a 2007 Toyota Corolla for my sister.  And the granddaughter placed 2nd in state in throwing the discus and signed to throw for Oklahoma State University.  And the middle granddaughter loves her new apartment.

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When things settled down for us, I got back in the sewing room.  But that was short-lived because of all the storms with lots of lightning, rain, hail, and tornadoes.  We were on constant watch for tornadoes.  There were 61 tornadoes during May with other possible ones being investigated, so the number may increase.  If you want to read more about this, check out this link.  https://okcfox.com/news/local/61-tornadoes-recorded-in-oklahoma-in-may

So during that stormy weather while sitting in front of the TV watching the weather, I removed all of the remaining paper from the back of the Rainbow Garden Log Cabin quilt.  I’m so glad that is done.  Now I need to get the seams all pressed in the direction I want them to go so I can measure for the borders.  See!  No more paper.

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On those rare occasions that we didn’t have lightning going on, I stitched down the dark side of the appliquéd leaves on the Poinsettia placemats, and I’ve almost finished stitching down the light side of those leaves.

Early in the month before that long stretch of time in May that was stormy, I quilted half the scrap quilt top that I stitched in the ditch last month.  I am practicing a different design in each white square which is sort of an audition for designs that I might like to use in the Lollipop Flowers quilt.

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So do you see why I called this the merry, chaotic, tumultuous, stormy May?  Not one finish, and this chaos spilled over into June.  Well, that’s for a later post.  Hope your May was a bit more relaxed and a lot more productive than mine.

Happy Crafting,

Lana

April Accomplishments

I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”  –The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland

Here it is three days into May, and I’m just now writing my April report.  They say time flies when you’re having fun.  And fly by it has, so I must be having lots of fun.

April is my birth month, and my darling husband gave me three air cleaning machines with hepa filters.  A week after setting them up, I dusted the whole house.  Would you believe there was less dust in the whole house than what usually collected in our bedroom in just a couple of days before the machines were installed?  Woohoo!  Less time spent dusting means more creating.  And here is what I created during April.  (Did you like my lead-in to this months accomplishments?  LOL)

Finishes:  5 crocheted dishcloths, 2 sewing machine mats with storage pockets, 2 potholders, and 1 wallet.  It is one of my goals this year to use up items that were in boxes of fabric that I purchased at garage sales.  Items that I would not usually buy.  I used up two of such items this month making the above listed items – a ball of heavy tan crochet thread and a scrap of pre-quilted fabric.  Now I’m looking at other such acquired items and thinking what I might make out of them.

Successes:  I am a member of a Facebook group for owners of Bernina machines.  While reading a post I learned that my machine has a hover feature.  I was not told about it when I did my training, and I did not read about it in my manual.  But once I knew it was there, I was determined to find it and get it turned on because it would make stitching down appliqués so much easier.  You see, the hover feature causes the presser foot to rise slightly when you stop pressing on the machine pedal which allows fabric to be turned as needed.  Of course, when doing appliqué, the needle also has to be set to stop in the down position.  I searched in the presser foot settings to no avail.  Wouldn’t you think that if it has something to do with the presser foot the setting would be in presser foot settings?  Nope, wasn’t there.  Then I just started looking in all the menus.  And, lo and behold, there it was in the needle position settings window.  I had three levels to choose from:  no rise, slight rise, and higher rise.  I chose slight rise.  Now life is so much easier.

Progress on WIPs:  all the blocks are finally together on the Rainbow Garden Log Cabin quilt.  I now just need to get the paper removed from half the quilt.  Just!  That is putting it lightly.  I hate this part of making this quilt so have been procrastinating.  When that is done, I can measure for the borders and start the appliqué on them.

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I also got stabilizer pinned to the back of the 14 poinsettia placemats and have started stitching down the appliqués.  That hover feature on my machine has sure made this more efficient.

The scrap flimsy I finished last month is on the quilting frame.  I did SID on every seam and was very pleased that 99.9% of the SID stitches went where I actually wanted them.  Then I made a decision on how I wanted to quilt it.  Each block on this quilt will be quilted differently as I try out different designs.  You see, I’m using this one as practice leading up to quilting one that I’ve been putting off until my FMQ improves and in the process am deciding on a design to use on the quilt I’ve been putting off.  I did learn an important lesson on this scrap quilt though besides FMQ practice.  I should have used two layers of batting to get the results that I was wanting.  It is a mistake I don’t think I will ever repeat.  Lesson learned.

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New projects started:  In my efforts to finish using up all the 2 ½” squares and strips that I cut from those cotton garments, I made a flimsy for another baby quilt.  What few squares and strips I have left have been boxed up and stored with stuff I will someday sell in a garage sale and donate if it does not sell.

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So as you can see, I have lots of creating going on and plenty to work on during May.  What am I saying!?!  I have plenty to keep me busy for several months!  Love it!  Love it!  Love it!

 

Happy creating,

Lana

March Madness

This month has been a bit chaotic what with my having a touch of some kind of bug and my brother-in-law having to be put in the hospital.  I’m still recovering, and he should get out today or tomorrow.  So hopefully all will settle down soon.

In spite of all the madness, I managed to accomplish quite a lot during March.  First up are two quilt finishes:

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I quilted this 4-patch with stars and loops in black thread.  It is a big queen size quilt and now ready to deliver to the church pantry.

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I also made a small quilt that can either be a lap quilt or a baby quilt.  It was a favorite of my quilting group.  And I finally got to use the Tri-Recs rulers I found at a garage sale for $2 a few years ago.  This pretty quilt will also go to the church pantry.

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I chose backing fabric from my stash for a throw size scrap quilt that I started last month.  The backing is loaded on the longarm, but quilting was put on hold until I pick up the batting I need for it.  I will be playing with some custom quilting in the 6″ white squares.

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And then before I knew it, this doll quilt top was together.  These quilts put me a bit closer to my goal of using up all the 2 1/2″ squares and strips that I have cut.

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And I got three more rows of the Rainbow Garden Log Cabin quilt together.  Because this quilt top is rather heavy with all that paper on the back of each block, I am constructing it in two halves and will sew the halves together later after most of that paper is removed.  It’s slow, but I’m getting there.  In addition to the additional rows sewn together, I now have all the border appliques cut for this quilt.

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Last Sunday afternoon, I altered the length of a dress for my granddaughter and added elastic at the waist to give it some shape.  I would have gotten before and after pictures, but this 3-year-old was not feeling cooperative that day.  Out of the fabric that I cut off the tail of the dress, I made her a scrunchy for her hair.  Very easy and quick project.

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I cut and adhered all the poinsettia appliques to 14 placemats which are Christmas gifts for this year.  Stitching them is next.  These have way more pieces than last year’s pumpkin placemats so will likely take a lot more time to stitch.  I best figure out a schedule for how many to complete each month so that I have them done by Christmas.  I’m thinking that I may also do a thread color change on this one.  Or I could do it all in a deep forest green.  Decisions, decisions!

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Happy Crafting,

Lana

 

February Finishes and More

In spite of February being a short month and me being gone a lot to watch my granddaughter’s last season of basketball, I managed to get quite a bit accomplished.  Enjoy!

I was searching in my sewing closet for something, can’t remember what, but discovered that I hadn’t yet quilted the Zigzaggy quilt.  So I pulled it out of the closet, found a piece of fabric in my stash large enough to make a backing, pieced some batting together, and loaded everything on my longarm.  I decided to try one of my pantographs that I had not yet used and chose one called Baby Curls.  And I loved it not only for how it looked on this quilt but for how quickly it went.  I had this large throw size quilt on and off my frame in about 2 1/2 hours.  Fastest quilt job I’ve ever done.  Then I got busy and used the rest of the afternoon to bind it.  My first finish for the month and a bit closer to meeting my goal this year of using up all those 2 1/2″ squares and strips I cut over two years ago.  You will be hearing a lot about my meeting this goal because there were way more of these pieces than I figured on and although I used up a great many of them last year, there are quite a few left to go.

In fact I’ve already started two more scrap quilts out of them.  This one is awaiting borders, quilting, and binding.

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And the other one is taking up the left half of my planning wall.

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In fact it is pushing me to get the remaining blocks sewn together for the Rainbow Garden Log Cabin quilt which is taking up the right half of my planning wall.  You see, Rainbow Garden is tedious to work on, so I procrastinate.  And because I need more space on the planning wall so I can add more blocks to the scrap quilt on the left…..well, you get the picture.  I do have 8 rows of Rainbow Garden sewn together, and I am really liking how it is looking.

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I did check off one of my goals for 2019 as completed – the cover for my Sizzix eclips2 cutting machine.

I used a 7 inch circle to make the arched pieces at each end and then just cut a rectangle the size I needed to go over the top of the machine.  I cut and sewed the lining first testing and adjusting for fit as I went.  Once I was happy with the fit, I cut and sewed the cover, added the lining, and, tada!, a bright and cheery cover for my machine was done.

I hope that your February was productive and fun, and here’s looking forward to seeing what we can get done in March.

Happy Crafting!

Lana


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