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.
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.
“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!