“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.
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 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?!!
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