“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.
Does your doll want a new spring outfit? Well, then this sweet outfit will make her jump for joy. Just click on the link to get your free copy of this pattern.
I forgot to tell you about some of my finishes in January so will take care of that unfinished business now. I did these while I was sick and totally forgot about them.
I didn’t feel like doing a whole lot while suffering from that nasty ole cold, so I spent that time sitting in my recliner watching TV, snoozing, and crocheting. Yes, crocheting. I find it very relaxing. I completed five cute doll hats and one pretty dishcloth. Here they are
Did January seem short to you? Well, it was for me in the amount of time I had for crafting. I started out the month just fine. Then caught a nasty cold that lasted a full two weeks. I’m still coughing some from it. I’ve had others tell me that they were still coughing 6 weeks later. And it is extremely contagious as most of my family has had it or are just now getting it. Hope you escape this one. Now on to the remainder of January.
I managed to get three rows of the quad Log Cabin blocks together. I’m really liking the way it is looking, and I’m anxious to get started on the appliqued borders. But, alas, I have to wait until all 192 blocks are together before I can measure and cut the border strips.
I also got the backgrounds plus the borders of the Poinsettia placemats together. Next step is to start work on the appliques.
I spent several days this month on the phone with a technician at ABM International trying to get my Innova longarm stitching well again. With his help I learned a great deal about my machine and got it back on track. So then I got busy finishing the quilting on Fading Charms. It is now bound and ready to go to the church pantry where it will be given to a needy family. It gives me great pleasure knowing that something I love to do will help to keep somebody warm. And didn’t this one turn out neat?
I also got the Apple Core/Double Axe head quilt finished. I guess I better tell you where the quilt top came from. When I delivered some finished quilts to the church pantry a couple of months ago, one of the workers showed me this quilt top and asked if I could finish it for them since they couldn’t find a home for it in its current state. I agreed even though it was double-knit which I had an inkling would be difficult to work with. And boy was it ever. It stretched and crawled and tucked even though I worked very hard to keep it from doing so. I eventually got it quilted but wasn’t happy. Definitely not my best work. But I promised I would finish it, and finish it I would. I decided to use a red and white striped fabric to make the bias binding for the curved edges. Took me four days to do that binding and has me questioning whether or not I will ever do another. But I think the binding adds a bit of fun to this quilt that was rather difficult to work on. I’m glad this one is finished and on its way back to the church pantry. But it did turn out cute and will keep someone warm.
Now back to the quad Log Cabin quilt and the placemats. I get to play with my Sizzix eclips2 cutting fabric appliques. I’ve done one test run but have a lot to learn about this machine. By the time I get all the appliques cut for both of these projects, I will be a pro.
A Look Back at 2018
Wow! What a fun-packed busy year! I completed so many projects!!! Here is a recap:
- 11 quilts, all were oversize throws and bed size
- 14 placemats
- 161 quad Log Cabin blocks to complete the 192 needed for my quilt
- 2 pairs of house booties as birthday gifts for 2 of my granddaughters
- 1 doll clothes pattern which was released early summer and only sold 2 copies
- at least 11 pieces of doll clothing and accessories
- 7 miscellaneous projects, and
- 1 online quilting class with Lisa Calle
And I have no doubt that I’ve forgotten to list something. To see and read about all these projects, just scroll down through the past eleven months of my life.
Looking Forward to 2019
As I worked on my quad Log Cabin blocks during December, I was thinking about how I was going to plan 2019 in order to complete all that I want to get done. Here is what I’ve come up with so far:
- 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.
- I have a quilt on my frame to finish quilting and three in the closet to quilt. 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.
- 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.
- And I want to take more online quilting classes. I paid for a subscription and would really like to take advantage of it.
What do you think? Is there enough time in 2019 to do all of this? One thing that should help is the Sizzix eclips2 I got for Christmas. This machine will save me time in cutting out all the appliqués I need for the placemats and the Log Cabin quilt border. Stay tuned to find out how it goes.