Our Oklahoma October started out in the 90s and ended in the 20s. Talk about going from one extreme to the other! And it snowed on the 30th! Extremely unusual for this part of the country. On the positive side with all of these too-hot-for-me and too-cold-for-me temps, I stayed in a lot and got quite a bit accomplished.
Oh, and I could have gotten more done if my husband hadn’t tangled with a copperhead. We spent an entire day in the emergency room while they monitored him and did repeated blood tests to determine what changes were taking place. Fortunately no changes in his blood so no antivenom had to be administered. His ankle is still a bit tender but he has been back on his feet since about three days after the bite. Then there were the two days that my dad fell and had to have CT scans to make sure he wasn’t having any bleeding in his brain. And thankfully he was also fine except for a little bump and a scrape on his arm. His doctor has since ordered home health, and a physical therapist is working with daddy to improve his balance. I was the one who suffered permanent medical issues from all of this. My blood pressure went a bit haywire, and my medication had to be increased. A wild month to say the least. Everything is back to normal now.
I finished Aspen’s quilt and the doll quilt that we are giving her for Christmas. I do still need to add the labels, so technically they aren’t quite finished yet. But I’m calling it a finish. I’m sure somebody has done a pattern like these two quilts, but I haven’t seen them. I just had an idea for what I wanted to do and started cutting and sewing. I’m pretty pleased with the results. I used two layers of Hobb’s 80/20 batting on the twin size quilt with a single layer in the doll quilt and quilted them using a panto called Crayon Scribbles by Anne Bright Designs. It is one of the most difficult pantographs I’ve used, so perfect quilting it is not.
In addition, I put together 4 baby quilt tops and finished one of them. I found this really quick-to-make pattern called Baby Bento Box online. I’ve also seen some variations that I may try later. I suppose because of the fabrics on a couple of these tops that these would be better as lap quilts. I really had fun quilting the little bunny one. I had never done clamshells so tried my hand at that using a 4” circle ruler and Lisa Calle’s technique. The quilt would have been just fine with the overall clamshell quilting, but I thought it looked a bit plain so added some free-motion feathers in each clamshell. I like it so much better now.
My month wasn’t 100% success story. I had a flannel shirt that I wanted to add lace to the back of to make it more feminine. Sadly it didn’t turn out to my liking; and since I didn’t want to spend time ripping out everything I had just sewn in, I am going to send it to the thrift store. Somebody will like it. Maybe.
I did spend some time working on mine and my husband’s quilt this month. Last month I only had sewn blocks into 5 rows. I now have blocks sewn into 15 rows. Let’s see……15 rows times 29 blocks……..that’s 435 blocks! If our weather is going to keep being this cold, I had better get a move on and finish this quilt so we will be cozy and warm this winter. But there’s so many other things I want to make………..
Oh, and I found my missing string blocks! They were between two books on my bookshelf. I had put them there to keep them nice and flat until I had an empty project box to put them in. It was really strange how I found them since I had already turned the house upside down three times looking for them and had given up. So after about a month, I started thinking about them again. So I walked into the sewing room and straight to that shelf to start searching again when right in front of me at eye level was the corner of one of them sticking out from between the books. This second search has to be the shortest search on record. Those wayward blocks are now safely stored in their own box waiting for me to make more.
I completed all fourteen Poinsettia placemats! Woohoo! That is most of my Christmas gifts finished. So happy with them!
The final homemade Christmas gift is Aspen’s Quilt and a doll quilt for her made from scraps from her quilt. They are on the longarm, and I have started quilting it. I chose to use a slightly off-white thread and a pantograph called Crayon Scribbles from Anne Bright Designs. It is the most difficult pantograph I’ve used to date because of all the diagonal lines on it but is still the perfect one for this quilt. I also chose a wide backing that I found at Missouri Star Quilt Co. called Lazy Loops on a white background. It is such a fun print and should look great with the purple binding I am going to use on the quilt.
I even squeezed in enough time to make three baby quilts that I will be donating. It is such fun to see the ladies faces when I drop them off at the church clothing pantry.
Last year or the year before, I made a pumpkin from an old wool skirt that I felted. My sister-in-law saw it and oohed and aahed over it, so I knew I needed to make her one. I immediately cut out the pieces, placed them in a kit bag, and promptly forgot about them until this year. I got busy and finished it this month and took it to her. She loved it even though it was necessarily smaller than mine due to having limited scraps. For the first time I purchased nice wool felt to make the leaves and curls for this pumpkin. Much nicer results than the cheaper felts. And when buying for small projects is very affordable.
I am also making progress on mine and my husband’s quilt. I finished squaring all 400+ half square triangles, arranged the blocks for a fourth of the quilt since that was all my planning wall will hold, and started sewing the blocks into rows. I did devise a way to add the second half of the blocks to the row for the full width of the quilt. I do, however, have to fold the rows when I place them back onto the planning wall. I also have to overlap them to make room for twice the number of rows that I originally placed on the wall. You do what you gotta do. I’m hoping to have this quilt finished by the time the really cold weather hits in January.
All in all I had a pretty productive month. I’m hoping October is at least as good since November and December are such busy months which don’t allow a lot of time for crafting. Hope you also had a great month and plenty of time for crafting during the holiday season.
I started August by finishing a doll quilt on the very first day. I already had it pieced but failed to put that in last month’s post. Now how did I overlook that? The quilting on it is just a simple design, and I got it bound lickety-split. Small quilts sure do go fast!
I also made some progress on the king-size quilt that I started in July. I have all of the 4-patch and HST blocks pressed, and I’ve started squaring up the HSTs with about a quarter of the over 400 blocks done. I worked on these on days when we were experiencing thunderstorms. On those days my longarm and sewing machine are unplugged. Don’t want to chance lightning ruining them.
It never ceases to amaze me that all the blocks for a king-size quilt can fit in one small tote!
Oh, and I made myself a handy-dandy tool for squaring up those HSTs. I had heard about some rotary rulers that were designed with a ledge along the center diagonal on the bottom of the ruler. The ledge would nestle against the high side of the seam on the HST block making it easier to keep in place and trim the blocks. I don’t have one of those rulers, but I do have a 5″ square ruler and some painter’s tape. So I placed painter’s tape along the diagonal line on the bottom of my ruler. It worked great! Makes lining up for the cut so much easier and quicker, and slippage was greatly reduced. If you don’t want to spend the money on another ruler, you might want to try this hack.
Besides this ruler hack, I repurposed a laundry sorter as a scrap storage container and a pressing table. I love it! Combining the two into one unit saves space and is easily moved from place to place. I also have a larger pressing board that I can lay on top when needed. Oh, by the way, those three storage bags holds over three bushels.
When pressing things, I have lots of time to think and started looking over at my fabric stash wondering what fabrics I had stored there that would make some nice children’s quilts. So when I finished pressing, I started pulling fabrics. I still have some of them stacked up ready to work on when I get the time, but I did complete a few. The first one is Bob the Builder. It turned out much brighter than I expected but is cute.
The second one was fussy cut from a clown print. I really like how it turned out. I even had enough of the print to use as the backing.
The next quilt was made from blocks that I had left over from another project. It is too small to be called a throw so can either be used as a lap quilt or a crib quilt. I just did SID on this one mainly because I did not have a thread that I liked with it so used my 100 weight thread that hides in the ditches pretty well.
One of the fabrics that I pulled for a child’s quilt let me know right away that it wanted to go to my great granddaughter, Aspen. I’ve completed three of the nine rows. I hope I have it done by Christmas.
Aspen’s quilt is currently on hold so that I can finish the fourteen poinsettia placemats. I have about half of the quilting done. I’m working on the cream backgrounds right now. In order to quilt these backgrounds, I had to move my laser pointer from the back to the front of my machine. After I worked out some kinks, the quilting is going pretty fast. When the backgrounds are done, I will change thread and do some detail work on the poinsettias.
I’m pretty pleased with all that I accomplished during August. I was much more productive than I was in the previous two months. I hope you were also pleased with your month. Until next time,
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!
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.
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”.
I hope you had some finishes in July. Now I’m wondering what August will bring.
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.
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.
And that was all folks! Hope you managed to squeeze in a bit more crafting than I could.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
And the other one is taking up the left half of my planning wall.
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.
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.