Expansion…

We nearly have 2021 licked! If you are reading this post, you lived through it. The past couple of years have been tough. We are seeing things we never thought we would see. I hope everyone gets their act together and practices the slogan, kill ’em with kindness. The world seems to be very divided. I ask everyone to put all that aside and remember we all put our pants on one leg at a time. There is enough negativity in the world. So, STOP THE SPREAD of negativity, it is snowballing. We are all trying our best. Our best may not be your best. We all walk in different shoes. Embrace the world and love one another. This will go a long ways.

I think because of the hardships many of us have faced have caused us to grow. Perhaps we are awakened. Perhaps we see things differently than 3 years ago with the same eyes. Our minds have been altered.

“Life Shrinks or Expands in proportion to one’s courage.”—Anais Inn Because of the turmoil on planet earth I can say we have expanded exponentially for the better of the human race. 2021 was harder than 2020. I hope that things ease in 2022 for all of us.

Today I am reflecting on the year. These are my finishes. And in comparison to other years, I think I was lacking! But there were many big project finishes.

This year seemed to be the year of starts. I think I became a serial starter!!!

So as a quilter I have expanded my abilities. This is good and bad, depending on how you look at it.

This is the time of year I like to look through all my photos and memories well up. Once I add the things I did not get done to the mix of getting things done, I accomplished quite a bit. I have added one more project this past week and have two more finishes.

I decided to make a new tote bag. The bag I have carried for two years, hand made by mom, it starting to show wear on the cloth handles. So I purchased the pattern and made another bag just a smidge larger. I love how this turned out!

I have put this fabric into many quilts. I still had a sizeable piece and wanted to incorporate this into a bag. So these are the pockets trimmed in faux leather.

Here is the bag unzipped.

And here is it zipped. I just love the foundation of the bag and the shape of the bag.

And here is the inside of the bag. I am loving my neutral colors. We will see how well this one holds up. This was a couple days effort.

And my second share I cannot share, but I have made another quilt top. The mystery quilt. The quilt top only took two days to make. As far as mysteries go, it is ok. The pattern call outs for fabrics is very vague, so it is a crap shoot LOL. I will keep it a mystery for a bit longer. 🙂

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It is weird to know the outcome of a mystery quilt. I will share sometime in march when everyone else has had time to do their clues.

I wish I could tell of what the future holds. I can vaguely say, it will contain quilting in my life, but content and volume is to be determined. Words of Wisdom by Bobby McFerrin

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog! Merry New Year!!!!

A couple of days off….

You give me a couple of days off, and I will get a couple of things done! Having time off is a marvelous thing!

First, the patriotic postage stamp quilt, is now quilted! And when you are close up at the machine, you don’t see the whole picture. During the photo shoot I discovered something!

The stars created a lovely argyle pattern that I could not see close up, I love this! Here is a picture of the fabrics I chose for the backing.

I will be binding this in the coming days.

And I worked hard again this past week to get more blocks done on the 365. I failed to snap all the photos. I have rather tired of taking pictures of all these blocks individually. I did have one block that was worthy. This 6 inch block has 121 pieces! Photo worthy indeed! I think this ended up being my favorite block. This took me about 4 hours straight.

And guess what? I now have a 365 Quilt Block Challenge QUILT TOP! Yippeeeeeee!

It is so big, that I could not really display it with my arm span.

Disappointingly, the woman that I was going to have custom quilt this, no longer does that. She only bastes or edge to edge quilts. 😦

So, change of plans, I loaded it today, and tried out a new ruler I purchased. I realized, I wasted my money on this ruler. My hopping foot is quarter inch 270 degrees around the foot. The back side is more like 3/8ths. So the hexigon template that is an inside template does not work right. It works great provided you never stitch behind the hexi. So those of you who have a Nolting quilting machine, do not buy this template, it will be foul and will not work!

So, I quilted a bit with it, and now all of this will have to be ripped out. 😦

So I started a different approach. I decided to quilt in the ditch for now and figure out what I really want in the future. *sigh*

These blocks deserve to be quilted pretty, but I am at a loss for what exactly. It will come to me in the coming days. I am in no hurry, it took me 2 years to get to this point, it can sit on the machine for a bit.

I see a few days of marathon sewing/quilting as ringing in the new year, there are several youtubers having 12 hour streams. The plan is to get a bunch done!

I have decided to join in a sew along that I will be keeping secret for the most part so I don’t spoil it for others. I know what the end result is before anyone else. I have carefully chosen my colors accordingly and will be working on cutting this out in the coming week. Not sure If I will show this on the blog though just in case any of those people accidentally happen upon it.

I have purchased a bag pattern with stays. I love my current tote bag. But it is starting to get soiled. My new tote will have leather handles, and it is a bit more muted or neutral in color. I will be working towards this as well.

And then there is the UFO piles I have. I probably need to get one of these going again. Perhaps this will be during the marathon days of sewing…dunno yet. After finishing the 365 to the point I have, it has lifted my spirits and really makes me want to grab one of the UFOs We will see what sorts out in the coming week.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Technical Problem 2021

I discovered a problem this morning when I went to retrieve photos from the cameras memory card. The camera would not let me take photos, *pout*, it gave me a memory card error. The memory card itself still works, I suspect my camera mechanism that determines if the card is locked or unlocked broke???? So until I remedy that, I will have to figure a work around for photos.

Since I cannot upload new content and it is so close to the end of the year I thought I could recap the quilt finishes in my life as well as other counts and milestones.

But first a statistic. All of you have been following along (thank you!) with my 365 Quilt Challenge journey of now two years. This is a long term project that did not intend to be that long, LOL. In looking back during this journey, these are the quilts that I have finished during its making.

Six large quilts (one of those being quilted now). Frolic was the monster of this group, but many squirrels happened. It kept me sewing without losing my mojo. You do what you have to do. The rest of these were smalls of lap size down to just a small wall hanging, but no matter the size, it is still deemed a quilt!

During frolic as well as spring brook blossoms, I did both the 365 as well as that monthly or weekly project.

This quilt was also included in the “during 365” gallery. I made this in about two weeks. I came down with Corona Virus and could not work. And, I am happy to report I was one of those that was asymptomatic with only a couple of days of aches and low fever. I recall one of my posts late in 2020 pondering what I would tell my grandchildren about this pandemic. I really had no idea. Boy, how this year has made a difference in knowing exactly what I would say. The quilt above cost me two weeks of vacation.

So, the fact that my camera has a malfunction combined with the crazed new attitudes (new normal) I have named this post what I did. My only side affect from this pandemic is pandemic FATIGUE!!!! I know all of you can relate.

And then there are the projects that I started….(I became a serial starter, YIKES)!

And I have all of those UFOs mostly from years past.

I am not going to make blog promises for 2022. After the past two crazy years, my logic cannot rule anything out. So for that reason I am going to set goals for myself and may or may not note that in the blog. Just know when you visit my blog in the coming year I will bring content approximately once a week, if not more. It will be sewing. It could have tatting. You will see quilting. As far as defining the specifics…..here are some quotes that may make sense of life.

“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”—-Allen Saunders.

“Reality continues to ruin my life.”—Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes .

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

And on that last quote, thank you for reading my blog!

Scrap Happy 720

My goodness this past month has flow by! It is the scraphappy post for the month where all of us get together and link up showing off our scrappy project progress. Please click the links below and see all the other Scrap Happy participants and their beautiful projects.

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

As you followers know, I have been working on the Kathyrn Kerr 365 Quilt block Challenge. I have challenged myself with this free pattern. I used red. I have trouble with reds and do not see the full spectrum of reds. The red cones in my eyes do not work as good as they used to. So the color alone was a challenge because I shy away from Reds. And I started this sew a long in Dec of 2019. Let me tell you, it was good through the pandemic to have this project in the works! But, at the same time, it got old and when you work on any project for too long, it becomes more and more difficult to finish.

I am happy to say that my Red Scrappy Version of this quilt is almost there. This weekend I made progress by leaps and bounds! It has excited me to the point of want to sew these last few blocks as fast as I can, because I am so close!!!!

I decided to lay this out on the couch to see if I could use it for my design wall. Because some of these pieces are so tiny, the seam allowance really makes this too heavy for the design wall. I used the couch instead.

This gave me a nice block count for each side. I need 11 light six inch blocks per side. And since I laid the dark red border out, the pattern said I had enough to sew, so sew I did. I have 4 dark red borders waiting for their lighter counterpart.

Laying this out this way makes me wish I could have fun with more fabric and make this an american flag. But obviously I do not have enough strips. It is an idea though!

After I sewed the dark red strips, I casually laid out the lighter blocks for the border to see just how many I have to go (by the way I have four 3 1/2 inch blocks left over and one dark 6 inch that was not that great so it did not make the cut. Everyone, this color combination sparkles and I am in awe looking at all this work come together. This will be the “Mona Lisa” quilt in my collection, one worth getting appraised.

Here are the light blocks I made over the weekend. Finding variety is getting hard. But I do like that these blocks are more white. It adds flair and sparkle to the ecru and gray ones.

I managed one more block before this post. I presume I will have a few more done when the weekend comes. As you can see I lack 8 blocks!!!! The corners are done, just waiting for the big day of everything coming together. I think this pattern used more than 20 yards of fabric. And I am sick of red LOL!

When I started this journey, I got some very good advice of someone else who had made a red one. Their advice? Keep contrast in the darks, meaning for some of these blocks it would call for Dark Dark, Dark, Dark Medium, and Medium. By contrasting this, there is very good definition! So it was good advice! Are all of them a success story? No, there are points chopped off all over the place, lost in an extremely thick 1/4 seam allowance. Some were not expertly trimmed. I am ok with that, because when you look at this as a whole, you do not notice those things!

I am debating sending this to be custom quilted, it is a once in a lifetime quilt and I could drop some $$$$ dollars on the quilting and not feel guilty about it. I want someone to do justice to this, and maybe that would be the reward to me as well so I don’t have to labor over the quilting of it???? I am undecided, but have not ruled anything out!

This has been my scrap happy project now for 720 days, I started this in Mid December of 2019. I never dreamed it would take me two years because I stayed caught up until March of 2020 even when sewing along with Frolic a Bonnie Hunter Mystery and that was a JOB! Then I started working nights which really cramped my piecing and I just kept falling further and further behind.

I have also posted a video on how to do continuous line stars on the domestic or longarm machines if anyone is interested please watch below for my very amateur attempt.

I also filmed some blocks being taken out of the shoe box for the 365 Quilt Block Challenge and you can see the relative size to my hand.

But wait there is more! I did finish up the patriotic postage stamp quilt and it is the one being quilted with stars in the first video share.

It really appears I have accomplished much, but really it was small baby steps that all came together at once. Quilting is ebb and flow as the posts go, some months appear very productive, while others are productive behind the scenes without much content to share.

I am elated to be scrap happy with finishes oh so close! Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog!

Busy Busy!

We can all agree, this is a busy time of year! I have been hard at it! I am really purging trying to get the 365 quilt block challenge blocks done. Much has been accomplished.

Here are my 6 inch blocks. The 6 inch blocks are so much easier for me to make.

And some more…

And I think these are the last of the dark blocks! Yay!

Here is a video I made of showing the shoebox of just SOME of the blocks….

And the weather has been lovely, so quilting at the big machine happened too!

I have decided to quilt this quilt full of stars. Stars are quite easy to do as a continuous line pattern. I will be uploading a video of how to ruler work some stars. This quilt even though it will have ruler work which tends to slow this quilters pace, is going remarkably fast. But not fast enough because a cool front looms, which will defer quilting to a warmer day.

This week has been a fun quilty week. I need to get out my 365 top that I have sewn so far and using my design wall see how many more blocks I really need. I don’t want to make too many!!!! Because those will not make the quilt and become poor orphans! So much work to not make the cut!

We shall see how much I get done in the coming week. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Sadness, but Less

This morning was a normal morning. The last thing I do before I walk out the door besides lock it, is feed our cats. As I walked out to my car, I saw one of our cats motionless in the road. Yeah, kitty was ran over. And in the dark, it looks as if it was our prized cat Mama Kitty.

This wore on my mind all day as this is the favorite cat in our hearts. I am such a bad fur baby parent, and should love all the cats. But as we all know, cats have personalities that resemble people. We coexist with people we do not like, and I can attest to coexisting with cats I do not like.

My daughter called me at work to tell me she did not think it was momma kitty. She has a distinct split ear.

So my worry all day in my heart for the hearts that would be hurting over this at the house (as well as my own) was for naught. I came home expecting to dig a grave. Turns out the ground is too hard, and that cat was not mama kitty. She is missing and I will be visiting the pound in the coming days expecting to bail her out of cat jail.

So I thought the week was ending with a heavy heart, turns out, it ended Less Sad. We think it was one of our cats, but it was not one that the girls oogle over. So a bit of a relief.

The rest of the week worked out well for sewing 365 blocks. I have about 4 boards with cut pieces ready to sew together, and fabrics paired with block instructions for 3 more. And this weeks count of blocks is…….8. Some of these take so long with all these small pieces that you cut, sew, and then trim and sew again.

I am very pleased with the contrast with these fabric groupings. This is getting hard to do, or my brain is getting tired of doing it, not sure which! The middle purplish block is WRONG. I got turned around while I was tired and seemed to get lost with my block pattern a.k.a. sewing roadmap. And this would require very small seam ripping of less than 6 inches, but I am to the point once I sew this into the quilt top, I will probably never even be able to find the 3 inch block. So a new design element it is! Going Amish style LOL!

I am working a bit this weekend, and not sure how much creative juices will flow in the coming week. And Texas has seen several 70 degree days, but I did not get time to get to the longarm. There were a couple of days that my body was fighting off some bug. I had body aches one day, and was tired the next and kept thinking I was going to end up with a sore throat. I beefed up on my vitamins those two days, and I am fine. However, there are coworkers that have bronchitis and colds right now. I presume my immune system worked it’s miracle. All is good in the household.

Let more sewing commence! Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!