Waiting for 70 Degrees

I am loving the colder temps in Texas! A few frosts in November, and wearing the jacket, breathing in the fresh colder air with holiday spirit in the air has become my favorite time of year. My favorite month used to be October. A month when the airconditioner gets turned off, the fans are switch off, and the house becomes more quiet. A month for baking because it is practically between 50-70 degrees all day. Much gets accomplished because your energy that was drained during the summer heat some how gets restored.

I never knew October was my favorite month, until twenty years ago. The chain of events, my Grandfather died in August. He lived several states up, so I was off from work for about a week. He had been sick for a long time and I never spent any of my vacation time, so I had oodles to spend. When I got back home things were not going so well for the telecom sector for which I worked (Sept 11th caused it to tank). So I job hunted and put in my resume to my employer now. We went back to his estate for all the contents to be auctioned off in late Sept of that same year. When I returned home and back on the job, the happiness and joy the job once gave me, was still there, but because of the telecom bubble burst, many of my coworkers were laid off. It made me glad I still had my job, and so very thankful, but at the same time I was the only one who provided for the family and knew the writing was on the wall. I had to get out and get into something else.

I submitted my resume to my current employer, and heard back from them, I got the job. I took a $2 paycut, but my job would be secure. I knew how much vacation time I had left, so I told them I could start on Nov 12th.

I gave my two weeks notice, and then burned the rest of my vacation. I got to spend 2 weeks in October off with no work and paid. My son was two at the time. It was so energizing this time of year for me. I started my new job on Nov 12, 2001. I have now been at my job officially for 20 years. Perhaps the month of October resembled freedom from any job and the gentle sigh that came that year when I was not working.

This patriotic quilt is all about my 20 year anniversary on the job. My current employer is a gov’t contractor, so it is all about patriotism.

And with 20 years comes change. I still like the month of October for the renewed energy. But with all the time off from work for the holidays makes me able to relax in the month of Nov and Dec.

So I am waiting for a 70 degree day to start quilting on the patriotic postage stamp quilt. I thumbed through my larger pieces of fabrics and selected a couple, and then thumbed through them some more and resettled on a couple of pieces for the backing. Here is one. I purchased this at an antique store. It said this was old. I don’t think it is necessarily old, but I do think it is made with an old technique. This is some kind of dying or printing on muslin. It is very folk-art themed with crows, the letter A in various directions, many lines but mostly each square has a motif inside which does repeat. It was a perfect backing, but was not large enough. So this got paired with the patriotic flag material, which also suits the theme.

If anyone can tell me the process of how this fabric was made it would gladly be appreciated. Educate me please. 🙂

This brings me in the meantime to get cracking on another UFO I have. A while back I polled my readers and the results were 365 quilt block challenge, la passacaglia, and jacks chain. I lack so few blocks on the 365, I will probably tackle this next. I have my tables cleared off, but my time is not in alignment. I have just a few more dark blocks and then the lighter blocks start up again. I am so very close.

But working this project now for almost two years has become hard for me. Harder than I ever thought. Mind over matter, but many of you know what I speak of. I have grown very tired of it. I have asked myself why am I tired of it. The simple answer, the color. I am not a fan of red. I decided to go out of my comfort zone when the decision was made to do this quilt. I had no reds in my stash so I changed that. Perhaps if this were started in a turquoise or a green, I would have already been done. I believe also that my combinations have ran OUT of the current reds I have. I will perhaps make this more appealing by adding fabric to this now to inspire me.

So while waiting for 70 degrees to quilt in the garage, I will be hemming and hawing over the 365, hopefully sewing!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

And the Last Border is Done!

This is ridiculous, I had the 4 borders sewn independent of the center of this quilt. I got those pressed and done on Saturday and Sunday of last week. All of my good intentions fell by the wayside, and real life got in the way. The good news I have no bad news to report. It is just the normal week of work, and cooking, vacuuming, cleaning, and having an extra fridge in the middle of the kitchen (a totally different post that is probably not post worthy…..use your imagination and come up with a story of the second fridge in the middle of the kitchen, to be moved out of the way when you open the dryer door, or the oven door or the other fridge door.).

So Friday night, I put my big girl pants on, and sewed them within an hour or so, and now I have a completed top (minus pressing). And I have impressed myself on this top. Most of these seams all spin, and nest. Most…meaning, I did screw up one border, not sure how I did that. But that is ok. THAT has never happened before with this quilter, I always seem to get seams not to nest. I think my design wall was a hero in this quilt top.

The weather next week is supposed to be pleasant, so this weekend I will get a backing ready and brainstorm how I want to quilt this. I have a pantograph of a gentle wave, which may be the direction I go with this. We will see.

I know many of you will be visiting family for Thanksgiving. Have safe travels, be smart, and stay safe!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!

And thank you all for reading my blog!

Patriotic Scrap Happy Nov 2021

Last ScrapHappy post left me with no scrappy business to report to you. But, time has changed and with that hour gained by daylight savings, it has given me energy to power on through my scrap squares that I have been stock piling for quite some time.

I measured my color ways to see which colors I had the most.

These were the clear winners. So a patriotic postage stamp Irish chain quilt began! And it came together rather quickly.

I have since, webbed the body together and decided on the final border. Webbing the quilt sure did keep things in order, but instead of touching a block at a time, you are touching the quilt top repeatedly every time you add a block. This led to a lot of fraying, which does happen in the quilt making process but it seemed to exacerbate the problem so I will probably not do webbing again.

These scraps measure 1 1/2 inches finished. The 4 patches are 3 inches. I failed to take an updated picture but have filled in between the triangle in a square blocks with more neutrals. I raided some of moms stash for a greater variety of neutrals, and then did another pull of my fat quarters to get this were it needs to be. By the time this posts, I will have pressed and cut additional neutrals to get this last border ready. I made a couple of videos in the last month while sewing these blocks.

For your viewing pleasure:

I am really enjoying my design wall. It helps with the flow of things! And it keeps me off my knees crawling on the floor. And for 30 dollars very worth it! The wall I am using vs the size of the felt which is 72 by 72, I tend to run out of space for layout. But this beats crawling around on the knees!

It is a few more days until Thanksgiving! I bet I have this quilted and bound before the year ends. I will then need to get back on any other project that I set aside in the past couple of years to move stuff off my shelf and get another finish!

I look forward to this months ScrapHappy posts from the websites below. Please click their links to see what everyone is making. This Christmas sounds like it may be a “make it” style Christmas for many.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Quilting Design as you Go

A long time ago, I envisioned making a red white and blue quilt. I had never settled on a pattern, but liked the idea of this theme in a quilt. Last week I showed you some blocks I had sewn together some time ago and played with them on the floor for layout.

I was using the blue streaks in the neutrals all to go in one direction. And then I started playing with this idea. I turned every other one, 180 degrees and it gave it a completely different look.

As you can see in the photo above, I added an additional row of neutral blocks but faded the blues to red. I was liking this a whole lot better.

After I laid this out on the design wall I noticed I had made too many blue blocks. But that was ok, that made the quilt more of a rectangle which would be bed friendly as this grew.

I ran out of 2 inch squares, so I hit up the stash and starched, pressed and cut squares stacking up 8 pieces of fabric in 2 piles and cutting much with one pass of the rotary blade.

Very little work has went into this quilt. Although it doesn’t look like it! Here is where my design has steered me.

After getting the blue fade to red blocks sewn, I wanted a dramatic border next. Since my 4 patches finish at 3 inches, I brainstormed on an idea that would suit this. I decided to plan with paper, which I RARELY do.

Of all things, I got out my accuquilt, and proceeded to cut red poster board on the dies.

This gave me accurate color and size to pin to the design wall and play with layout, without wasting precious, expensive fabric and don’t forget wasting time of sewing the blocks.

And this was pleasing to the eye! So I made a few of these and have those now in some scrappy fabrics! (A big thank you to Mom who allowed me to raid her scraps of neutrals because I was running out of variety!)

I ran out of design wall! Once I web this together it will shrink in size. I will leave the last border unsewn. I am thinking there needs to be a red, white, and blue stripe around the perimeter. I have not made up my mind on this yet.

During the course of owning my featherweight, I repeatedly had thread tension issues. It does NOT like my thread stand. Rather than spending money on a featherweight thread stand, I improvised and used some supplies around the house. The neutral blocks and some of the blue blocks are all sewn with this, with no tension issues what so ever!

I would have just grabbed a small spool of thread, but I have NONE. I buy cone thread most of the time for the price point. A few months ago, I did splurge and try some aurifil thread. I love the thread, but again those spools were too heavy for my little work horse machine to pull. A big thank you to Sew Yeah Quilting for the opportunity to try Aurifil thread!

Check out the featherweight video hack I made using things gathered from around the house.

I am uncertain how much fabric was used in making this postage stamp/irish chain quilt. Some of these scraps are OLD. Some of these scraps came from a scrap bag from Sew Yeah Quilting. Be sure to check them out on YouTube on Tuesdays and Saturdays for their live fabric sales. They are an excellent, inexpensive, easy resource for backings, 5 yard cuts, panels, precuts, and notions in any color imaginable! This quilt sure has shrunk my scraps! And that makes me very happy!

In the coming week my goal is to get this sewn in one piece minus the triangle in a square pieces. I am still deciding my options on that one.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!