A finish and a Start

This has been a rather productive week in the quilting department at my house. I have a couple of finishes! Yeah, can you believe it?

I finished Crazy, it is now a top. And I must say it grew on me, especially after I snapped this photo.

During Crazy construction, I opted the 4 blocks make a pinwheel in the center.

If you look closely at all the meeting squares of this block, each corner forms an askew pinwheel. How fun! A bit crazy!

And early this week I decided to place an order for the Alaska Quilt, a quilt along hosted by Laundry Basket Quilts. The quilt pattern is so charming, and Edyta makes it look so easy. I am not a pattern person, I reckon this is my first pattern purchase. Got the templates, the fabric, and just had to wait a few days for it to get here.

In those few days, I was restless. I was so excited about starting this new project, that I wanted to sew. But I did not have any simple project. So I decided to clean up my work space a bit. During the tidying process I came across the Flight HST quilt that was destined for my boss man who turned down the other quilt top I made for his grandchild (because of covid, and he had two born this year). I had accidentally buried it. At the time I was a little miffed that he would not accept. This was in the early onset of the virus. But I have come to terms with myself and COMPLETELY understand. So all I had to do was hand stitch the binding down. Another finish!

This thing was buried so deep it got wrinkled after the quilting. I will eventually give it to him after all is said and done. Hopefully said and done is soon!

I tatted a bit more on the handkerchief and am a little farther down on side three.

And finally, Alaska arrived in the mail yesterday. All the fabric is now starched, pressed, cut into strips, and partially cut into pieces. The cutting is quite the job. But her methods are spot on, and am very pleased with the accuracy of this process.

I managed to get block one made. I have three more to sew just like this. This block will be in the 4 corners of the quilt.

After seeing all of Laundry Basket Quilts patterns, I see that one is already named Aurora Borealis. So, I will probably change the name of mine to Midnight Alaska. If you think about it, winters up there are 24 hours of darkness near the winter solstice, with only the northern lights. So, Midnight Alaska it is.

I can’t wait to rest up tonight so I can get crackin’ at the sewing machine tomorrow! The weeks are flying by, before you know it, Christmas music will be playing on the radio. Time flies when you are having fun, I must be having a blast!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Crazy!

The word crazy sums up this year perfectly! We are all experiencing issues of a crazy life that we will probably never experience again. Here in America we are building character on an individual basis.

On a normal year, this is the time of year getting ready for a mystery quilt. This year I will not be doing THAT mystery quilt and because I am not doing that huge succubus of a project, I thought it would be a good time to get a quickie quilt done and place an order for the next masterpiece.

The quickie quilt I cut out on Monday. I am using two layer cakes. I am using Lori Holt’s paper pattern call Crazy Quilt Paper. If you are interested how to make this block, here is the fat quarter shop video.

Now, I saw how many blocks this makes, and that is on the small side, so I did not follow the pre-iron instructions. I will be able to keep all my pieces and make a truly scrappy quilt in the future if I so choose. Additionally because I am frugal I decided to stack about 4 or 5 layers on top of one another while cutting these out.

The two layer cakes I selected out of the stash are called Church Ladies Aprons and Bread and Butter. I wish I would have removed a bit of the red out of the stack as these layer cakes had multiple repeats. Hindsight is 20/20 much like this year too!

I have probably sewn just under half this stack. And aim to stitch this over the weekend.

The geometrics of this block will make it impossible to align all the edges. So some trimming will have to occur. Users if you opt to do it like mine without foundation paper attached, you are stitching on the bias and it does stretch. Take care when stitching and take care when pressing.

And here they are all laid out on the bed with lots of red.

This looks like a blast from the past with all the yellows, oranges, among the reds. A quilt is a quilt. A quilt, regardless of looks, still keeps one warm. I am hoping this will grow on me a bit more. If it does not, I am still meeting a good goal, I am using what I have. ๐Ÿ™‚

These are very easy to sew and you can chain piece. The hardest part of this is fidgeting over what color goes next to what other shade of color.

And because this will not consume oodles of time, I am hoping what I have planned in the last week will get some of my sewing mood back in it’s correct disposition! Sewing is good therapy and we all know we need a good bit of that this year!!!

Edyta Sitar is currently having a quilt along using her Alaska pattern. Beautiful and inspiring. But I really wanted the precut kit, which is NOT in stock. I kept checking everyday, and nothing. So I decided to purchase the pattern/templates and fabric, my fabric selection being my different spin. I am going to go in the negative on this quilt pattern. Everywhere there is light I will go black and grey. Everywhere the pattern goes blue, I will go various shades of turquoise. I will call my Alaska quilt Aurora Borealis. You can also view blocks and how they are constructed via youtube.

As much as I wanted to do the rainbow quilt, depending on how this all goes in my version, may happen at a later time. Does it sound like my crazy quilt idea is a good one? I just love quilts with black in them and each time I make one am surprised by how much I adore the color contrast.

Here are my quilts that I made with the neutral contrasting theme. I will be adding one more to the list. I have placed my order and am now staring at the mailbox waiting for it to be dropped so I can start! Quilter start your engines! I am ready to put the petal to the metal!

To all you quilters suffering this year because it is so different, you do what you must do. Everyone is different. Everyone copes differently. Whatever works for you, may not work for some. Keep trying, you are not alone. Reach out to loved ones and talk. Delve into what you need to, or retreat into something different. I am still trying to figure out what works for me. In the process of processing all of this, I continue to learn things about myself I never knew existed. Brave on! You can handle this one step at a time!

And thank you for reading my blog.

The Meh’s

Now that I am not working myself into an early grave by a bunch of overtime, I have free time. This weekend I was in a miff. After much reflection, other than buying cat food, and going to work, I GO NO WHERE! Because I work, the other half does the grocery shopping. So things that would break my at home/work monotony would be a quilt show ever few months. Yeah, those are pretty much done for. I probably need to get out. But what?

The Meh’s put me in a funk, that I would pick something up to work on it, and I just sat it back down. Other than working, I am the perfect home-body. Perfectly satisfied to be at home for days. Home is my playground.

My grumpiness I contribute partly to this not having anywhere to go. No destination to look forward to on the calendar. It has kind of taken my MOJO a bit. Saturday I laid down for a nap, and I slept 12 1/2 hours. Sunday I could have taken a nap too. Too much of anything makes Jack a dull boy. I am feeling dull.

I did manage to snap some photos of the progress of the dream big opal 108 panel. I made myself sew 365 blocks. Not sure of the progress I will make this week now because I am in a funk/rut.

The feather petal was the grand size of me having to roll the quilt back and forth at least four times to finish one motif before moving onto the next motif in that leaf.

I have stopped placing the chenille on this and will do that after I have it quilted. It was getting in the way. It is what it is.

Brainstorming for the quilting of this……I know there will be a spider web, I mean it is October. The small petals towards the center will be some feathers. I have realized the scale of these to draw squares or a grid which can help with a different style for each petal. I am not struggling this time like I did the first time, trying not to repeat anything and quilting it to death. I have decided that some will be dense and some will not. I will try to balance this out for symmetry.

As the Meh’s go, have a fabulous week! And thank you for reading my blog!

October and Progress

My goodness we are already more than a week into the month of October. These past few months have flown by.

As far as quilty years, this has been a record low so far. Although I have not counted, I recall 5. Usually I am atleast to 10, but not this year.

If I were to huddle in and not have a money worry in the world, I would just stay home and use quilting as my therapy, but my oh my, our hobby is expensive! And getting more expensive by the minute.

This weeks progress accomplished a few more 9 patches. I am now down to one tub of the 2 1/2 inch squares. So I will have to sash, or make these into stars. To be determined….

This is laid out on a full bed. It does not yet cover the bed. So I will have to determine the pattern before I proceed.

I have made great progress on the 108 dream opal panel. And I have learned somethings! When I first started this, the leaves are larger than the play area of my longarm. So if I do a continuous design, I have to roll the quilt to finish the leaf. Those of you who do not have longarms, doing this can hose you up. It can pucker the back, hammock the batting, get the batting and the backing to stick to each other wrong, causing problems. The work is enjoyable, but at the same time, it is harder than normal because of the shifting back and forth. I have two rows of leaves almost complete and aim to get back to it this weekend. I will get pictures of my random quilting free motion probably in my next post.

And I have made considerable progress on my handkerchief tatted lace. I have two sides complete and am rounding the third side. Sitting down and working this a little bit in the evenings is quite enjoyable. I am wanting a different degree of difficulty and may try a harder pattern next, but not till I finish this one.

This really is begging me to tackle a doily, but I just do not see me hanging with a big project like that.

The forecast for this weekend…….no plans. Quilting yes, sewing yes, sewing what? Dunno.

One of my loyal readers dropped the hint of the solar minimum happening, and so I have been paying close attention to this. This is a natural cycle the sun goes through. It affects our planet. It changes the location of polar north. NOAA usually updates true due north every 30 days because the polar region magnetics do move. But it moved so drastically that they announced early. The north is now somewhere in Russia.

This also causes aurora borealis to be seen by people who normally do not see it. And because of the magnetic shift, it causes iron rocks to try to point in a different direction. When that happens, earthquakes are a result. The ring of fire is awaking. I find this fascinating and have been looking at the maps in awe that Missouri can have an earthquake (not related to fracking). There are some deep earthquakes happening. Alaska is a hot spot as well as Puerto Rico. I am not sure where all you readers live, but have you experienced an earthquake? I live in an earthquake free area, and 9 years ago this nov, in Oklahoma there was a 5.0 magnitude earthquake that caused my floor lamp to sway violently as well as move the 50 lb mirror handing on the wall. (I live a good 150 miles away from this!) It was scary at the time, but I personally would not have know it happened if I was not awake and seeing things move that should not.

The weekend beckons! Have a great one and thank you for reading my blog!

Chenille?!

Have you ever made a chenille scarf or quilt? I have made both and they are softer than soft. Both were gifted. Both were a tremendous amount of work.

Several months ago before Nancys Notions was bought out, I kept my eye on a 108 dream opal panel. I refused to pay full price at $82. When 3 yards of 108 does not cost as much. When they closed them out I purchased two with the intention to make one for each of my girls. I debated chennilling the top, but had not a clue with the direction. Then I happened upon the video below and was blown away by a new process.

In this video she has bloomed a small dream big panel. I must try this. I mean I purchased 5 rolls of this bias at the thrift store. It has been waiting to audition with something. More about this in a minute.

And last week, Missouri Star had their birthday bash sale. A whole bolt of batik (14 yds) for $86. I jumped at that thinking of all the backings I could sew.

So today the bolt of backing, the dream opal 108 panel, and the chenille bias came together. There is much left to do, but it felt good to run the longarm. I feel a bit rusty at it as I have quilted very little over the summer.

Each petal will be outlined in pink chenille. The center I will make extra dense like the center of a fuzzy flower. I am not using glue as I think that may end up messing with the machine.

And what also appealed to me in the above video was the jacket and shrug the ladies were wearing. This was chenilled on the longarm. I would love to try this perhaps on my featherweight. That is to be determined.

Today I sewed a few more 9 patches and remembered the 9 patch swap with the TOGA group that I am part of. These blocks will combine with those 9 patches. Who knows I may make stars out of them, but for now they are just 9 patches. Simple. Easy. A feel good block. ๐Ÿ™‚

The above scrap blocks are in the bin ready for work. I used the bias on this edge before the quilting machine.
Bias found at the thrift store about a year ago. This stuff has more than doubled in price. You could probably make your own. It would probably be time consuming.
9 Patch swap from Tread On Gathering Academy.

I do believe this weekend is going to be on the stitchy side of things. It doesnโ€™t take much to get the creativity flowing. All it took was time. :). Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Naughty

As adults, we definately know right from wrong. If we don’t then something went terribly wrong. In general adults know.

As a child, you took risks being naughty. You would either get caught, or you wouldn’t. As we grew into older adults, the risk was just too great. If I knew I could get away with naughty things and just get a spanking, I would take that! But there are more severe consequences as an adult. So for the most part, us adults are not naughty.

As you all know I have been working a ton of overtime. And I have just had enough. I chose to be naughty today and call in sick. I will still get overtime for the week, but have slowed the progress of the company to their deadline. I am just so dang tired. I am extremely irritable. A coworker gave me a stress ball. The stress ball did not make it! I chose to keep my mouth shut, not say a word, and feel better by staying home. Can any of you relate to this?

My frame of mind was almost to the point of crying, or anger at the drop of a pin. The logic of my work mates causes me much stress, and then there is this factor of those getting to work from home, tasking me to do things for them at work. I don’t mind helping out, but these coworkers, if they cannot get the job done by not being on the job, then maybe they need to come in.

So many mistakes are being made as a result of the home workers. And because I am at the bottom of the food chain (so to speak), the trickle down economics of it sucks. I am working way harder because someone else failed to work smarter.

I couldn’t take it anymore, and got up this morning when the alarm went off, and felt the tightness in my body from clenching during the night from the stress. (Last night my blood pressure numbers were odd and boy could I feel it) To avoid throwing out my back or getting muscle spasms in my neck I took the day off. What I was feeling this morning would lead to one or both of those things above. Isn’t this me taking care of me? I have placed the job first for months. My turn!?

Without overtime in life today, I am going to share some things I have worked on in the past month(s), and a new thing I just started today.

I have been trimming my scraps to squares for a few months. I needed the stress relief of the sewing machine and some fabric to run through it. As much as I need to work on the 365 quilt block challenge, I am too tired to work on something that complicated. So I started sewing some of the 2 1/2 inch scraps together. So naughty, not finishing what I have started, and then I am starting something else. But the ease of a simple 9 patch block sure does soothe the soul, mend the mind, tame the naughtiness. I feel so much better after sewing for about an hour.

I found this fun to take my tubs and sort through the colors and sew each block in a color theme. Each of these scraps hold so many memories of the projects I have made for others. Perhaps that fondness of those memories also helped me heal the effects of overtime.

The play with value on these pieces will be fun. I found I could use pinks in the brown blocks, neutrals in the green blocks, blues in the purple blocks. It felt good to have color back in my life!

I finished the Tripoli game mat! Put the last few stitches in the binding a couple of nights ago.

Ironically the backing to this is of what I thought was paper doilys, but when I really looked at it, they are tatted doilys! This fabric was gifted to me by my bosses wife.

Speaking of tatting, during these months of overtime, I decided to tat a doily. I so named it the overtime doily. It is not very big yet, but I will continue with this as time allows. I figured out what this is going to be, just by moving it to a new location. When/if I travel with my featherweight, it will be the protector cloth to keep the bed of the machine from hitting the machine when it is folded up. I still have a ways to go to make that work, but that is ok.

And I am also working on some handkerchief edging which I am totally consumed with right now. I have about 1 1/2 sides done. And I am dreaming of making some broom stick lace on some pillowcases. But I really want to finish either of these first.

I figured out during the construction of this if I put my ball into the cup, it does not roll off my lap and the weight of the cup does not tip over either. And it is agreeable storage when I am not working on it.

Tonight on this cool evening, I am breathing a sigh of relief. It has been a lovely day being me, in my house, with my family, I loath tomorrow. I know that things probably went down today at work as a direct result of things piling up over the past several weeks. I dread the news. I am however, NOT working any overtime for a while to try to get my normal attitude back. I will do what I can in 40 hours a week for a few weeks. They will just have to understand that running me into the ground is counter productive.

I aim to sew this weekend! What are your plans?

Thanks for stopping in and reading my rant!

Sunshine Photo Op

These past few weeks have fall in the air. The evenings are cool. Dew on the lawn. Lots of cooler weather and rain. Seasonably perfect, but cool for Texas.

Slowly in the last month I have seen the sun almost disappear from my work commute, and when I travel home after a 10 hour day the sun is low in the sky. I miss the Sun, I feel like dracula when I come out of work into the sunshine. My eyes squint almost shut, sun reflecting off my white skin almost blindingly!

Today, I did not work a full eight hours and got to bask in the sun a little more than usual. It feels so good to walk among it’s rays. It energizes the tires and worries of my day.

The photo opportunity of Sew Quester happened today. I have not gazed upon this quilt in a few weeks. I finished binding it almost 3 weeks ago. But the weather or my work schedule (or unkempt lawn) kept me from taking photos.

I have never really gazed upon this in the sun. I really hesitated liking the brown. But in the true light of the sun, the brown has grown on me and I love how it transformed itself right before my eyes. One of my children has already asked for the quilt. My children never ask for quilts while I am making them, they are very disinterested. Perhaps this is a sign of interest. We will see where this goes.

I got out the ladder and stood on the very top and leaned over, blindly not looking in the window of my camera, finger hovering over the capture button. This is as good as I could get. You have seen the close up of the blue area. And capturing a good closeup of the brown area, well, that thread match was so good, it would show nothing.

A description of feathers in the stars, orange peels in the 4 patches, pebbles in the brown border, with teal stitches of pebbles making the square complete. A wavy grid in the muslin area. Hearts and feathers in the corners with some hashtag inside.

A completion. I needed to be able to say and do a completion. I have only had two completions this year. This year has been funny you know. You would think I would be able to sew like everyone else due to covid. But I am essential and have had very little time off. I worked nights for a while. This year if it were to get a star rating, would only be one star. I would not recommend.

But at the same time, this year I got this free pattern of the quilt above, and took all the fabric in my stash and made something useful and beautiful. We all know how hard it is to gather everything from our stash and pull something together so large. We are always looking for that just right fabric. And all the quilt shops were closed.

Luckily I had purchased a large bolt of muslin back in Nov. So I also made the backing for this. And a whole cloth quilt revealed itself. But I used colored thread in most of it.

Now you can see the brown and blue pebbles. The rest kind of washes out in the sun. That is ok.

Here are some other pictures I have taken during it’s construction.

There was a birth of a kitten (firecracker). There was a death of a cat (Dummy and my longarm room-mate). The death of my Dad’s cat at the time did not bother my, but the garage is kinda lonely now. I have no one with their back towards me, ignoring me, waiting for me to leave their domain.

A meager offering as I have done very little sewing or tatting. I do not see my slow pace picking up anytime soon. I am a little depressed because I cannot do my hobby without totally exhausting myself. Perhaps tired is better than blue….

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Developing your stitches

Funny, when you take a picture these days, you have instant results. It used to be, you would have to get your film developed. And it would be revealed you chopped someone’s head out of the picture, or forgot to aim correctly and totally missed whoever was on the far right. And you paid for all the blurrs, and horrible photography.

In our quilting hobby, sometimes it is hard to develop the pattern for your stitches. You may start stitching something and find out it auditions horribly with the quilt. And Rip it, Rip it, Rip it. Or leave it and give it to someone who will find it more of a treasure than you, LOL. Either way, the quilting can make or break the quilt.

And if you load it on the longarm and nothing comes to you, it is rather intimidating. the quilt top practically harrasses you to the point of walking away, still without a clue how you will proceed.

Pinterest and Youtube are my favorite places to pull ideas from. It may be I find just the right thing, or it becomes an amalgamation of many things that I see and like. But coming up with the right pattern for your quilt is the hardest part of the whole job.

You can quilt it to death, and make the quilt stiff and rather drafty. I am a utilitarian type person so if I choose to get artsy with my quilting, beauty takes the warmth right out of the quilt. It drapes about as good as a cardboard box. And your beauty is questioned. The utilitarian portion of your work becomes for naught.

The last couple of times I have quilted, I have had uneven tension. I change out colors of threads made by the same maker, and BAM and major tension problem. And I recall this happening on Sew Quester about 1/3 of the way through the quilt. Changed out colors, and it was way off. Not sure at the time what happened, but I now know what I think it is/was. My cheapo batting. Yeah, I buy it at Joanns. I wait for it to go on sale and stock up.

This batting gets the job done, but really when you do heavy quilting, the quilt becomes heavy in those spots, it looses it softness, and creates a drape problem. I have only ever used this one batting, I thought that batting was batting. And tonight I watched a video that will probably change my current batting relationship. It is very well explained, and worth your time to watch the ever so important unanswered questions about batting. Heirloom batting vs. Tuscany batting. I am thinking I probably need to venture out of the batting box that I am in now LOL (no baseball pun intended!)

Eye opening! So the info disclosed probably would have changed my results in every quilt I have ever made. They could be quilted to death, and remain soft and warm. Who knew?!

I have actually had a great week of no overtime, and have utilized some of that down time to quilt, and piece, and bind.

Did you catch my last post? I did have a finish from the longarm position of things. I am rather proud of how the minimalist quilting really did the right job and accentuated the piecing well.

The binding is stitched to the quilt. And in the coming week I will be hand stitching it down. I have almost 2 sides complete.

I also managed to get two very complicated 365 blocks worked. The one block took all day long. It was nice to have my stitching rhythm back.

And I loaded a panel onto the longarm and got that one quilted. I have the fabric ready to cut for the binding and will work this in as I can while my schedule returns to overtime.

This panel was from spoonflower. I think this goes by many names. We always played it and it was called Tripoli. I have heard it called Michigan Rummy. Either way it is a game of chance of how the cards fall and how you scheme and play either representing yourself or as part of a team. If you play this using pennies, it cheaply entertains. If you win, you get a gob of pennies. If you lose, you get rid of those pennies that always seem to collect in your coin purse.

When I loaded this, I had not a clue what I wanted to do. So I started on the feather border, hoping something would come to me. I whipped out my rulers and did some diamonds on one and hearts on another. And come to the conclusion, I would put a different motif in each division. Not necessarily card playing related, but that helps the theme of it!

And the spot for Kitty, I could not resist stitching a kitties face. Yeah and because this was loaded and I had to quilt this sideways, (easier said than done) kitty is wonky. This kitty looks like it is kinda droopy on one side. Poor unsymetrical kitty. But once it washes up, that will shrink away and probably really not be noticed.

In this one, I mimicked Jack’s hair. I like it!

This will be gifted to my Dad and Mom. It will match Mom’s kitchen, and it is something that will bring back fond memories of all the nights entertainment in the past, and to make new memories in the future.

I placed a wide backing order for the dream big opal panel. The panel that is 108 by 108 in the dream big flower, bed size. Mom also wants me to quilt her star quilt that she sewed while having a broken shoulder. Not sure which one of these projects will make it to the longarm first. Either way it will eventually happen. So when I am not quilting in the coming months due to overtime making me such a sloth in the evenings, Overtime doily, here I come!

Well it is late, and I am working tomorrow. I really appreciate all my subscribers and readers, you make this worth my while! Thank you for reading my blog!

Sew Quester is Quilted!

I have not touched the longarm since the end of May. Working overtime really cut into my energy, therefore my hobby suffered. I could not remember how much I had left. And I also remembered that I had bought new bobbins and there was some thread that was giving me tension problems.

I tackled the tension problems rather quickly this morning. And quilt-a-t-de I did!

It is now quilted! And not looking at it for months, and unrolling it off the long arm, I oooo’ed and aaawwww’ed over that center. When you don’t gaze upon something everyday, you somewhat forget.

And I was going for a whole cloth quilt on the back side. There are ribbons in the sashing, feathers in the stars, and orange peels in the 4 patches. I looks great on the back. Not to much quilting, just right!

I will be finding time to bind this, this week. I have so few quilt finishes this year with frolic taking up a gob of time, and then the 365 everything has kind of slowed in the finish dept.

I do have a project panel to load. And will get to that hopefully this week too. The highs in Texas are only supposed to be in the 70s. For this time of year, it is a rarity. Is the weatherman right? Chances are he is not, but I will remain optimistic!

Well, thank you for hanging in there with me to finally see this, and thanks for reading my blog!

Overtime doily paused…

I have done a bit of tatting in the evenings. Very relaxing….working overtime drains my time and energy. So no quilting up to today.

I have a bunch of ends that I have not sewn in.

I have also tatted these motifs.

I need to sew the tan ends in one these.

And I came across a long lost box of scraps. So my little tubs runneth over! These scraps are in so many of my quilts already.

2 1/2 inch tubs on the top. Not enough tubs for the 2 inchers, and one small tub of 1 1/2 inchers. These will turn into a nice scrappy quilt one day.

And since I am not working over labor day weekend, I aim to get some 365 quilt blocks constructed, as well as a visit with my longarm. And boy am I excited! I have not used my longarm in over 2 months! Time forbaded, but not now! Sew Quester quilt here I come! I think I have just a couple weeks more of large blocks and I can sew some more around the medallion. I have fallen so dang far behind. I hear 3 1/2 inch dark blocks are around the corner so those will be quicker and help me catch up!

Well, that sums it up, pushing pause on the overtime doily, to resume next weekend. Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!