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.
For the past 9 years, we have hosted Thanksgiving dinner for all of my family. Anywhere from 18 to 25 people showed up each year. This year we had to cancel because my husband got sick. He couldn’t get in to see the doctor until the afternoon before Thanksgiving Day to find out if he was contagious or not. Turns out he was not contagious, so our daughter, her husband, her daughter, our other two granddaughters, and our great-granddaughter came and spoiled him. We had a very nice relaxing day.
Now on to the rest of the November goings-on:
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. A whole lot of blues. Hey! Where did that pink block come from? LOL
I now have a total of 177 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 15 blocks to be completed. I actually have the fabric pressed, cut, and ready to start sewing them up. In fact, I have pieces for 17 blocks just in case I don’t like the way a block or two looks in the quilt when I get everything laid out.
- Square Dance is finished! It turned out quite pretty for just a bunch of cut up shirts, skirts and dresses. Did you notice that I made good use of more scraps in the scrappy border and binding?
I also finished the Fading Charms top and have it on the longarm frame. Now if I can get my longarm to stop breaking threads, I’ll get it finished. Need to put in another call to the 24/7 hotline to continue trouble-shooting the problem.
And I finished another quilt top that I’m calling Zigzaggy. It is hanging in the closet awaiting its turn on the longarm.
- I’ve been shopping for fabrics so that I can get started on 2019 Christmas gifts. I did the pumpkin placemats for 2018 and will be doing appliquéd poinsettia placemats for next year. I have some of the background fabrics and the reds for the flowers and berries. I also have some fabrics that I can use for backings. Still shopping for the border, binding, and fabric for the leaves. Oh, and some more fabrics for the background. The fabrics I ordered didn’t have enough contrast. I ordered white on cream tone-on-tones. I’ll order some white on white to get the contrast I’m looking for.
So on my December to do list is the 17 quad Log Cabin blocks, finish quilting Fading Charms and bind it, and quilt and bind Zigzaggy. And all that whiling doing all the Christmas prep. You think that’ll keep me out of trouble?
For a month that I thought was not going to be very productive because I was called to jury duty, I really managed to accomplish way more than I would have thought possible even for a normal month. Turns out my jury duty consisted of sitting at the court house for a couple of mornings, and I was done. I didn’t actually have to sit on a jury. They were hearing child custody cases. I don’t think I would relish terminating a parent’s right to see their child, and that is mainly what the cases were about. So sad.
Now on with my list of accomplishments for October:
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 15 blocks completed. I now have a total of 165 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 27 blocks to be completed.
- I finished the last 5 placemats. Yay! So all of my Christmas presents that I am making are now done.
In addition I threw together 3 throws and got them quilted. I used up all of the plaid and striped 2 1/2″ squares and strips that I had stored. I am so glad those are now done with.
I also finished the Square Dance quilt top and have it loaded on the longarm. This is the first quilt I’ve made from the more feminine prints in that tub of 2 1/2″ squares and strips. An unofficial goal is to get all of them into quilts by the end of this year.
And I made some progress on Fading Charms which was started before the 3 throws above and utilized a great many of those plaid and striped squares.
- Along with all this sewing and quilting, my husband and I shopped for a good used car for my brother-in-law. He is very happy with the car we found him. It is a 2001 Toyota Corolla LE with new lense covers on the headlights, a new headliner, four new tires, and a new armrest on the driver’s side door. And this clean little car only has 82,000 miles. Rob should get many miles of use out of it. Plus it gets very good gas mileage so should save him money there.
That wraps up the beautiful month of October. I should finish all 5 of the quilts I have started during November. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!!
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 138 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 54 blocks to be completed. I’m almost ¾ done with these blocks. I sure will be glad when all 192 of them are done. Bet you will be too.
- I threw together a small quilt top that was to be hand-quilted with long stitches so that I would have something to work on while I was having Mohs surgery to remove a skin cancer. They use a local anesthetic for this type of surgery, and it is done in stages. They take a layer, test it while you wait in a comfortable waiting area, and then repeat as necessary. They tell you to bring something to help you pass the time. They got all of mine with the first layer so only had an hours wait so ended up finishing the quilting at home. Then I chose buttons to put in the centers of the blocks to represent flowers, put on a hanging sleeve, labeled it, and bound it. I’m very pleased with the result.
- Granddaughter Haylee has her great grandmother’s cedar chest which has a cushioned bench seat. When she first received this chest, she and I re-covered it with Oklahoma State University That wouldn’t do in her new house, so she went back to JoAnn’s Fabrics and purchased more of the fabric that we covered her pillows with so we could replace that orange fabric. Doesn’t it look great?!!
- I’ve also been doing a bit of organizing this month. I decided it would be easier to find thread and buttons if they were sorted by color. Took awhile, but they sure look pretty. Easier to find what I need? You betcha!
- My husband helped me make a pressing board out of an old ironing board that he attached a piece of plywood to. Then he and I stapled one layer of Warm ‘n Natural batting and canvas to it. See how nicely a fat quarter fits on it. I sure do like it.
- Finally got back to the Pumpkin placemats and finished three this month. Just 9 more to go, and I am almost finished quilting the next group of 4. If all goes just right, I should finish all of the placemats by the end of September.
- I learned to use the embroidery module on my Bernina while I made 5 labels to go on quilts. One went on the back of a quilt I gave to my dad for his birthday a couple of years back. Don’t know why I didn’t already have a label on it. The other 4 will go on family quilts to indicate which grandchild gets what. One of those has already been attached to my Granny Wilson’s quilt. I also made a pocket to attach to the back of the quilt to hold all of the history that goes along with it. This quilt was made by her quilting bee back in the mid-40s. Each of their names went into the hat for a drawing. My great grandmother won. It was passed to her oldest, my grandmother, and then to her oldest, my dad, and then to his oldest, me. It is going to my oldest child’s oldest. She is so excited that it will be hers one day.
- My husband and I also found time to go to some garage sales one day. We found a nice little drop-leaf table and four chairs that will go to another granddaughter, Rylee. She recently moved into her own apartment and does not have a dining table. She and her mother will paint the set and make them hers. Not a bad buy at $25.
I’m surprised at how much I got accomplished this month. I hope September proves to be as productive.
It may have been mild for Oklahoma in June, but we are warming up to normal temps for July – very hot –had a couple of days in the 100s. Our garden has already burned up except for the okra. The okra plants are healthy looking but are not producing. In 50 years have never had that happen before, so no okra to put up this year. I did manage to put up all the green beans, asparagus, and tomatoes I will need for the winter though.
My husband and I have also been busy helping our oldest granddaughter look at houses, condos, and townhomes with the goal of finding one she could afford in acceptable condition in a good neighborhood near the school where she teaches. She finally found a house in excellent condition within 2 miles of her school and the perfect size for her first home. We moved her in the last weekend of July. She is very excited about being a homeowner. She texted me a few days after moving in announcing that she believes she was born to be a homeowner because she is having a blast organizing and whipping things into shape. She’s so funny.
In spite of all the canning and running around, I did manage to get quite a bit of sewing done.
- My weekly goal of three quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 15 blocks completed. I now have a total of 125 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 67 blocks to be completed. Wow! I’ve now almost finished twice as many as I need to complete. But that upper left one is way too pale and will most likely be replaced meaning that I will have to make an extra to take it’s place. Just what I wanted – to make more of these blocks. Not! LOL
- I ordered some titanium embroidery needles to use when I stitch the appliqués onto the placemats I am making for Christmas gifts. I was reading an article on stitching appliqués that have been applied to the fabric with fusible web. The titanium embroidery needles are touted to easily go through all layers without getting gummed up. Well, not so. Maybe they don’t gum up as much as regular needles but did gum up. No problem though since I have my Goo Gone ready when I need it. I have stitched down the appliqués on 5 of the 14 placemats and have quilted and bound 2 of them.
- There were no window treatments in my little sister’s new living quarters, so I took her old ones from the other apartment and remade them to fit the new windows. I also used some old draperies given to me by a niece to make a privacy panel to put behind the sheers in the bedroom window.
And the kitchen curtains I made for her last month but forgot to take a picture:
- A friend of our granddaughter gave her a sectional sofa which was in sad shape. Their dog had chewed through the upholstery on one corner and left about a 12” x 18” section bare all the way to the wood frame. Wish I had taken a BEFORE picture. Oh, well. So my husband and I went to JoAnn’s Fabrics and found a piece of chocolate brown vinyl that matched closely enough that one has to get very close to see the difference. Then we cut a piece of foam to fit that area and covered it with the new vinyl stitching it to the old vinyl at one end, stapling it to the frame at the top and the bottom where it doesn’t show, and tucking the other end into a joint between two pieces of the frame. Looks great! Then we replaced those too tall, too hard pillows that were across the back of the sectional. I bought 3 body pillows from Walmart. When our granddaughter came to the house, we had her try them out to make sure they were to her liking. She loved them. Next step was to find fabric to either match the seat cushions (which also needed work) or fabric that would coordinate with them. We picked up Haylee (the granddaughter) and headed back to JoAnn’s. It was Friday the 13th but our lucky day. JoAnn’s had the exact upholstery fabric that was on those seat cushions. Can you believe that?!!! So now the seat cushions are spruced up and the body pillows covered. Then for throw pillows we picked up a piece of fabric that made 3 pillows, and I took the covers off the old pillows that were once the back of the sectional to make pillows 4 more. I had also saved the armchair covers from the 2 dark brown recliners we gave Haylee a while back and made a couple more pillows. Found all the pillow forms reasonably priced at Walmart. We saved the couch!!! LOL And here is Aspen enjoying it.
So the past two months have been spent mostly on sewing, upholstering, and quilting for my sister, our granddaughter, and our nephew. I’m hoping that nothing else comes up so that I can get the placemats done that are this year’s Christmas gifts. Do you sometimes find that you spend more time on other people’s projects than you get to spend on your own? What am I saying? Most of my projects are gifts for them anyway. LOL
Summer is here and although we have had some rather cool days for June, our days are starting to get up into the high 90s and very humid making it feel much hotter. Very hot days were predicted for the weekend we had the family reunion but Mother Nature decided to give us temperatures in the low to mid 80s with a nice breeze. It was wonderful! The reunion was a grand success, and we plan on having it at our place again next year.
With the reunion, cleaning up, and getting everything back in their storage places, my crafting time this month has been cut short. And in addition to all that, my husband had surgery this month. So I played nurse for a few days. He’s not a good patient; but in all fairness, I am not a good nurse either. LOL But I have managed some finishes and some progress on other things.
- My weekly goal of three Quad Log Cabin blocks was met with 12 blocks completed. I now have a total of 110 blocks stored in that nice big white box waiting for the remaining 82 blocks to be completed. I love seeing the number of blocks completed increase as the other number decreases. It gives me just enough boost to keep me going on this long-term project.
- I got all of the appliqués fused to the 14 placemats. I hope to get them all stitched down in July, but it will be a tedious job so may take two months to do that. And if I decide to do the appliqué stitching by hand, I will allow myself three or four months to get them all done. That will leave plenty of time to quilt and bind them and have them ready for Christmas giving. To give you an idea of how tedious this is going to be, here is a picture of half a leaf and there are eight of these tiny intricate pieces to do on each of those 14 placemats. Yes, you did see that right. That piece is 2 1/2 inches wide x approximately 1 1/4 inches tall with a lot of ins and outs.
I finished quilting my nephew’s quilt. I did have a problem when quilting the outer border. My nephew pressed the seam between the inner black border and the outer orange print border toward the orange. Doing the beadboard quilting required me to stitch in the ditch which unfortunately in this case was on the black. Why was this a problem you ask? I was using a bright yellow/red/orange/green variegated thread, and I am not the best at stitching in the ditch. But I found a solution which cost me some extra time but worked. I used a black Pigma pen to color the variegated thread where it was not supposed to be showing but was. Now you see it; now you don’t. In spite of this minor problem, this quilt was such fun to quilt!
- My youngest sister moved from an apartment to a duplex and needed new curtains. She wanted light pink and blue in her kitchen, so I pulled all my blue and pink fabrics for her to choose from. She chose a very light pastel pink and blue plaid. I made simple cafe curtains with a valance and gathered them on spring loaded curtain rods. They look real cute, but I forgot to take a picture. Maybe I’ll remember to take pictures when I take the curtains to her for her dining, living, and bedroom which are now in the works.
- I have given up on my goal to finish a doll clothes pattern every other month. So far this year although three have been in the works, I’ve only finished one. I knew it was a lofty goal and gave it my best shot. But life got in the way. So doll clothes patterns have been removed from my goals list. But on a positive note, I’ve sold two copies of the one pattern that I published this year, and it has only been available for one month. Not one of my hottest patterns, but not a failure either. I did receive pictures from the coat pattern tester of her finished coat. It is as cute as can be. And she sent me some very good constructive comments that I hope to get incorporated into my instructions in time for a Fall release.
Oh, did I mention that my husband bought me a new sewing machine? It is a Bernina 590! I’ve already taken my classes and am definitely enjoying sewing on this dream machine. I hope to come up with an embroidery project soon so I can try out the embroidery module. Fun! Fun!
Until next month, happy crafting,