Gemology Book/Seam Ripper ~ A Quilty Review

A few months back, I had watched a YouTube video by Just Get It Done Quilts, and she recommended this book. After watching the video (and thinking about my scraps) I purchased the book from Amazon.

Karen, in the video, explained there are many instructions on how to get color as well as build of the gems. When the book arrived, I was a bit put off by starting this project because of the dreaded “constructions”. I am usually an improv quilter, or one that goes by a simple pattern. Usually I refrain from purchasing patterns or books. But the seed had been planted. And now I will watch it grow regardless if it takes months or years.

While I was tidying up the sewing areas, I came across one of my magazine patterns for making a wallet, and thought, “oooh, I have everything to make a wallet”. But I had just made a wallet about two years ago and I am still using it. It has very little wear. No need to make a new one.

And just a little further back on my shelf (behind my pile of scrap batting), was a single stack of magazines and books I own, that have made my “to Make” list. I pulled the Gemology book from the stack and glanced at it inside the cover. Glancing at the pages, and pattern pieces. For some reason, when I looked at this on this particular day, the instructions seemed easier (what little I read.) Yeah, I did not read the instructions until after I built the first block).

I went and made copies of the shape of gem I wanted to make, and proceeded to the light through dark legend of fabric selection. Of all of this process I think the most challenging part is to get the fabric selection right. There are good instructions on color picking in the book. My next step was to see what I had on hand for fabric. After making the Alaska quilt below, I knew I would have several shades of turquoise. I started with that.

I took a small swatch of each color and assigned it Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Dark, and Dark. I also selected a neutral background.

This book is about foundation paper piecing. If you have never done foundation paper piecing or FPP, there is no time like the present to try. I recommend if it is your first time, select fabrics from your stash to play with until you get the hang of it. The good news about using solids or batiks, you will not make the mistake of placing wrong sides together because there are really no wrong sides. Additionally, there are no good instructions for FPP in the book, you will need to know FPP skill before you start. There are many great videos on FPP on YouTube. That is probably all you need to get where you need to be.

I will say, I used my seam ripper much during the construction of these blocks because I was using scraps. My main trouble was selecting the right size/angle of scrap. (There are no cutting instructions) What looked big enough under the paper, once stitched a folded, resulted in much seam ripping because it was just shy of being the right size, or being placed right before it was stitched. No worries, I got to use my new seam ripper my mother gifted me (scroll to bottom of post for that review).

After sewing your scraps together on your paper pieces, the image does not present any recognizable shape. You will not know you are successful until you have the block at least halfway finished. That is what I did not like about this. But sometimes we start building a quilt, we don’t know if we like it until halfway, eh?

One thing not mentioned at all in the book that I would have taken the time to present, was fabric prep. Usually before any project in fabric selection, I pre starch all fabric to be used. It makes pressing more crisp. In the book, the blocks they constructed and photographed looks sloppy and not crisp. No matter how much starch you use, there will be spots that may warp or not lay right during construction because of many bulk of layers in the FPP process. On my second block, when contructing the block seams to make the 4 quadrants of the gem, I removed the 1/4 inch edge of the paper and then stitched. Less bulk, and I noticed the biggest difference in the center of the block. This book also failed to mention a recommended stitch length. If you do purchase this book, make your stitches small, it makes the papers easier to remove.

I will give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. You can make amazing gems with this book. I would like to remind all my readers that I make no money with my blog, and that I do not have sponsors nor any money from endorsing product. In other words, this is my opinion, free from pressure of the book manufacturer or author. Money does not come from saying yay or nay. Have fun playing with color! Gems come in all different facets and colors. Make one a rainbow! Make it your own little unicorn gem.

Does it sparkle? This would be gorgeous in grunge or blenders. Ooooo if you had gradient fabric that would also be very successful!

Adding white and the background to this swatch ended up being my diamond. I must say, I like the diamond second best. LOL!

And here I have an opal started. I am using my Fossil Ferns fat quarter box that I purchased eons ago. I like the fact the sparkle of this one is different. The fabric in fossil fern is more ombre or gradient. So a true pink same throughout it is not. I have used pastel blue, pink, coral, and lavender.

And now for the seam ripper review. How many of you have went to a craft fair, or quilt show with vendors selling very nice $30 seam rippers? I have had mine since July and when cleaning up my sewing area decided to place my cheapo Dritz brand in the drawer and use the large one.

Pros of this item. It is pretty and it is large so you will be able to find it on a messy table. It has a nice stiletto at one end if you use one of those. The actual ripper is very heavy duty. The quality of this product is very durable. If your ripper dulls, you can get it sharpened.

Cons of this item. It is heavy. After using the cheapo one for years and breaking those and replacing, the new one is heavy. Because it is heavy, it makes it awkward to use. The fluidity of motion is impaired. The bulk of the seam ripper itself did not work well on this project. Notice the length of the two in the photo below. This probably contributed to the awkwardness. This does not feel balanced in my hand. Usually my small Dritz has no problem just getting under the thread and pulling the top thread from the bobbin thread. That is how I undo my seams. I never use the ripper part in the seam. I learned a long time ago, aggressive use of this tool can actually rip your fabric in the seam which will come undone after quilted and washed.

The heavy part of this ripper is not the middle, like I thought, but when you remove both ends, these are very heavy. Because of the weight of this in your hand (now the right size in the pic below), it still makes me fumble to use it.

If you have the opportunity to buy this product and help the small guy out, by all means it is your money. Use it and make it earn its keep. If I were purchasing this for $10 I think it would be too much. The price for me helps make my rating. I will rate this at a 2.5 out of 5 stars. The Dritz is not perfect, but has a perfect price point, and is balanced in my hand. I would give a rating of 4.5 stars. I would give the Dritz a 5 star rating, but it is ugly, which is totally cosmetic. If the handmade seam ripper was ugly, the rating would drop another half point and make it 2 stars out of 5.

I hope my endorsement of product can help you in your quilting journey. Thank you for reading my blog!

Quilts on the Frame

The Spring Brook Blossoms, is now a top! And oh sew scrappy! Not very photogenic, but cute and humble. That is fine and dandy with this household, it will fit right in with this rag-tag group!

And I had the urge to quilt. Because this is a humble gem, I thought it was best to quilt this in a nice geometric pattern that would add nice texture for snuggling. A pantograph it is!

Goal achieved. Lovely Texture! I feel snuggles in the future!

And BAM, just like that, it was quilted! I really like this pattern, but if I ever quilt for others I will not offer this to customers as it is very hard to follow a straight line. This pattern shows every wobble. You probably can tell when I would take a step while stitching at the rear of the machine. I suppose part of this is because I did not clean my rails (clears throat). But when you start, there is no turning back!

I snapped this photo at around high noon over the weekend. It was shady in this spot. Since this photo was taken, these shade trees were cut down. I am a little sad about that, but there is no threat of said trees crashing through the garage and damaging my quilting machine. On the screen on my camera, I did not like how this photo looked so I retook one in full sun.

And it probably was not full sun because the sun disappeared behind a few clouds. This shows off the hexagon texture beautifully.

And I had a piece of floral that I wanted to use for the front border, but then realized I would not have a decent piece for the backing. So I found this border instead in the stash. It is perfectly muted to frame this out. The backing was perfect as well except for one thing. It was not big enough. Long enough, yes, wide enough, no. So I got some solid and sewed to each side of the floral, and a backing was born.

And I have no more quilts to quilt! So I reached out to a resource (MOM) and she had a top ready with backing. So I am working this now at the machine. I decided to custom quilt this one. I am very pleased with the outcome so far. One of mom’s quilting friends came over today and saw my work. I got complimented by a very advanced quilter. This made me feel good. Mom’s top is beautiful, I just wanted to accentuate it just right.

A tad of ruler work. The border is getting quilted in a scallop, and the squares are perfectly simple quilted in a grid to match the patchwork. And then the stars are getting a bit of ruler work too. I like this even more!

I have not done any sewing this week. My thoughts are a bit stressed. I have no desire to sew. I did get out a bunch of scraps and am cutting those down to 2 1/2 inch squares. As I work through my thoughts (I will probably post about this after my decision), and sewing/quilting is put on the back burner, I tackle the fork in the road which I am currently at.

Much deep thought, the stuff that will wake you up in the middle of the night, and steals your sleep. I think one night I only had 4 hours sleep. But my brain must work this problem out, and be confident in the road I take. I suspect it is the rocky road and the road less travelled. I still have a few weeks to really think hard, deep, and ask as many questions as I can before I take this leap of trust.

So….as my jury summons…..my stitches stop. I am the type of thinker that thinks while hyper focused on something tedious. It works for me. Some of my best ideas and thought come while I focus. Some how it focuses all my thoughts. Not sure how my brain does this. I guess it likes to multi task all the hard stuff at once. I feel sorry for those of you who cannot focus. Without focus, life would be so scrambled. That would be no good, unless you are an egg!

Thanks for reading my blog.

A Giveaway!

I am having a giveaway! Do I have your attention? Those of you who follow my blog know that I tat. Back in February I tatted a doily and have not found a purpose for it at this house. This would be cute framed, stitched to a quilt block, adorning the underside of a candle, or adorning the bottom of a vase atop a coffee table.

I will just place this in a regular mailing envelope and send it to ya. How does one win this tatted doily? Click the raffle copter link. Ensure to give your name and use a current email address so I can get ahold of you if you win. The cutoff date to enter is midnight August 28, 2021. I will announce the winner on the 29th. I will give a week for the winner to claim their prize. Because of this being relatively small I will open this up to any english speaking person in the entire world. Good Luck! Make sure to leave a comment how you would use this doily (not required to win). Everyone loves a good idea. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chenille Quilting Tutorial

Were do I begin? I will start by saying, if you have a sewing machine with a walking foot, you can chenille Quilt!

Tools necessary :

  • Sewing Machine
  • A new needle (I use 90/14)
  • A walking foot
  • A sharp pair of pointed scissors, or a rotary chennile cuter
  • batting
  • 4-6 pieces of fabric

Lets get started. First, make your quilt sandwich. This will consist of your backing and batting and top fabric. Your top layers of fabric can be as many as you choose. The more layers, the more “bloom” you will achieve.

For all chenille quilting it is MANDATORY you sew with the bias. Do NOT sew with the grain or against the grain. That would be a lot of time and money wasted. It will result in shredding of fabric instead of bloom. Pin baste your layers.

I have seen a technique of layers 4 of the same fabric panels in chenille quilting. It gives a soft and fuzzy look to the panel, and a soft and fuzzy feel to touch. I do not own matching panels so I grabbed fabrics I had.

Sew from corner to corner on your quilt sandwich using you walking foot. It will help you to know if you change out your needle before you start this project, it will help sew through the thickness. Does it have to be perfectly on the 45 degree bias? No, you can be off, but try not to deviate more than 9 degrees. How much is nine degrees? Think of a Dresden using a 10 degree ruler, or a 9 degree ruler. The angle in that ruler is about how far off kilter you can go before you run into problems. Your next stitching line in your quilt will have to be determined by what tools you have to perform the cut on the bias. If you are using scissors, you will space your next line of quilting parallel to the first, but the distance of your parallels will be according to the width of your scissors. Note: If you are using scissors keep in mind that this is hard on the hands.

Space your parallel lines equally spaced. If you deviate a tad, this shows up as you see it now before bloom. After bloom the stitches disappear on the front and it will not be noticeable. After you have stitched all your parallel lines approximately equidistant, it is time to cut.

Regardless if I am using the chenille cutter, I always snip about 1/2 inch in ensuring I am not getting through too many layers of the sandwich. When doing the cutting step, do not cut the backing or batting. You will also refrain from cutting the top layer of fabric that is against the batting. If you cut through that layer, you expose the batting. The batting will not necessarily be stabilized enough for longevity nor will it be good for your quilting mojo. All that work, and no fix for this mistake. Keep the bottom of the top layers uncut.

If you are using a chenille cutter, you will select the foot of the cutter most snug between your parallel lines. Turn the dial of the cutter to cut at that foot. Slide between the parallel lines not catching the batting, backing, or bottom top layer. Slide cuter. Your one row is cut. Move to the next row the same as the first, and so on.

If you are using scissors carefully place between the correct layers and snip, and snip, and snip. if your cuts are jagged, that is ok, it will be lost in the bloom. This is the most physical aspect of chenille quilting. You cannot really open the jaws of your scissors far, so the lever action is HARD. you will feel the burn. You may do a marathon of cutting a feel it for days. If it hurts stop and rest. Ask a loved one for help, or come back to it later when your hand is not fatigued.

Now you are ready to bloom your fabric. You can achieve bloom in one of two ways.

  • Wash in the washing machine and throw in the dryer
  • Use a nylon brush to scrub the cut side of the quilting

It will bloom either way you chose. One is a workout. One has a softer outcome. Chose your method.

Here is the example I threw in to a load of laundry. The bloom is more significant after washing.

Tada, that is chenille quilting!

But wait……there’s more!

Did you know you can make a chenille sweater using bias tape and a wash away stabilizer?

List of items needed for making a chenille sweater

  • Sewing machine (or longarm)
  • rolls of bias tape
  • sewing pattern for a top of your chosing
  • washaway stabilizer

Your first step is to trace the front and back pieces (and sleeves) onto your stabilizer. Stitch your layers of bias tape to the stabilizer. You will be stitching down the bias as close together or as far apart as you wish for the sweater to be dense or less dense. You will come back perpendicular and cross over with new bias making a cross hatch pattern. Make sure to outline your pattern piece and stitch down layers of bias around the perimeter of each pattern piece. This bias will need to be 5/8 thick bias as this is your seam allowance. Sew your pattern pieces together according to the pattern instruction. (there is no right side or wrong side) Try it on, ensure it fits. Throw it in the wash, and then in the dryer. Depending how close you sewed your crosshatch bias will determine the hole size in the bloom of your new chenille sweater.

There are varying widths of bias by the roll. You can sew the 5/8 and layer with layers of 3/8 on top. This will give a nice rounded affect. You can trim raw edge appliqué with bias. You can cut 1/2 inch pieces of bias and bar tack them through your layers of your quilt sandwich as an embellishment. You can stitch down your binding of your quilt and add raw edge bias on top. The quilt edge will be finished but you will also have bloom. The possibilities are endless with color and size. Placement is all up to you.

Here is a wonderful video published by handiquilter and full of ideas. Notice the quilter in the video is wearing a chenille sweater she made on the longarm.

Here is a video showing how to use the chenille cutter as well as a layer of panels.

You can make scarves, mittens and jackets, even potholders and placemats. You could probably even make a tote.

Here is a tutorial on scarf making.

There is so much you can do with chenille. If you are using the precut bias tape method, you can outline raw edge applique. You can add extra pizzaz to your binding and make it bloom. You can snip 1/2 inch pieces for the stack up and quilt using the bar tack method on your sewing machine every 2 to 4 inches for a tied quilt look with fuzz instead of yarn. The internet is a great resource for ideas involving these techniques. I encourage all of you to at least try a pot holder sized project. You will be glad you did.

I hope you have found inspiration from this post and sew up that stash! Thank you for reading my blog!

Quilt Documentation

This blog attests to dropping off 7 quilts for the quilt hop scheduled for july 30th and 31st. Due to the newbies running the show this year, and clearly not knowing what they are doing, I am creating documentation of what quilts I have placed in their care.

More Flowers Bloometh

Last week, another flower bloom was released by corrianderquilts.com for free pattern download. I find such inspiration in these gems. You have the freedom to take these in any direction you wish, and they are not hard!

Viewing others progress on these flowers, I am stunned by creativity, as well as clever fabric placement. They are all so beautiful and will make the perfect flower “bed”. I will anxiously await the next bloom release. Until then, I am caught up!

I decided for fun to lay them out on the floor to see what they look like all together.

The gray one seems to be the black sheep of the family, eh? I will have to remedy that by careful neutral selection in the upcoming months.

Last week, I set some goals. I would like to take the time to revisit these goals:

  • Finish Laundry Basket Quilts mystery 2021 top. Completed!
  • Bind Laundry Basket Quilts mystery 2021 green quilt Not only completed, but handstitched in a day!
  • Complete two more flowers for the Corriander Quilt along Completed as seen above!

I find when I make a list, it is so much easier to tackle one thing on the list at a time. When you focus on one thing, it goes so much faster. You are less distracted. And it is ever-so-satisfying to check it off the list! I don’t know why I quit setting goals?????

I also set goals for the month:

  • Finish the Moda scrap bag quilt…Quilted ready for binding which will happen over the weekend.
  • Send the moda scrap bag quilt and the green laundry basket quilts mystery to Sew Yeah Brothers for their chairty drive for Quilts for Alaska Homeless. I have completed and sent this quilt.
  • Bind the quilt below and get that ready to show at the quilt hop. See below
  • Work on the Jan Stawasz doily

I put my big girl pants on and proceeded to bind yet another quilt.

I decided to do a little something different for the edge of this. I wanted it to pop. So I selected two fabrics for the binding. If you will noticed just a sliver of black outlines the turquoise edge. I need to do this again on one of my quilts. (This quilt is pre-sold). So I had yet another joyous fling with this quilt and the manipulation of fabric and colors. It will be a customer win, win!

This leaves two items on my agenda for the upcoming week, which I will have no problem achieving.

And I will be working a bit on the Jan Stawasz doily.

It is such a wonderful thing to be able to clean off your tables that were once full of your almost done projects! I now have one table completely clean. This will change with the binding of the quilt tonight.

Now I need to work down my shelves of projects. I have put up a poll and am asking readers to vote on what I should work on next. Have you voted on my poll? If you are interested in determining my blog content, please go vote! Click here and then scroll down to the poll.

Now, I probably need to set new goals as my list has dwindled to very little. For the coming week, I need to do the following:

  • Bind the Moda Scrap bag quilt and send it off to Sew Yeah for the quilt drive for the Alaska homeless
  • Figure out a new border for my yellow mystery quilt by laundry basket quilts, and start sewing on borders
  • Work on the Jan Stawasz doily

Monthly goals

  • In the coming month start back work on the winning viewers choice from the poll
  • Start quilting on the yellow mystery quilt by laundry basket quilts (I have picked out a pattern already)
  • I have been selected to do a demo for Chenille Quilting for our local quilt hop (really excited about this). I will planning and sewing some demo material for the chenille quilting technique. Be looking for a tutorial on this coming soon.
  • Enjoy some kitten goodness as we have a momma kitty who is ready to pop any day.

Ooops almost forgot to include the picture of the yellow and black mystery quilt. You have to stand a good distance away from this pattern for you to be able to see the pattern. Same held true for the green quilt. I thought it was me. Turns out it is just a busy pattern.

In the upcoming two months

  • I have committed to quilt a quilt for free for Sew Yeah Alaska Quilt drive. I am looking forward to this challenge.

Right now I will just enjoy my clean tables in all their project (or lack of) glory.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Be safe! And thank you for reading my blog!

Normalcy…

A sigh of relief, things seem to be back to normal for us in Texas. I would like to thank all of you for worrying about our situation. I have come out rather unscathed, but far too many things we take for granted, vanished for a few days. Boil orders are subsiding. WE MADE IT!

Work is back to normal, driving is back to normal, laundry….back to normal, cooking back to normal. But I must say we have not bought groceries in 3 weeks. Mother Hubbards cupboards are BARE. This weekend will be normal too as it will be off to the grocery store for menu replenishment.

After the snow melted and Monday and Tuesday high being in the upper 70s, my daffodils did NOT freeze and will bloom soon. I could not believe my eyes to see those wonderful stems popped up about 6 inches after the great melt! Life’s little surprises. Looking forward to signs of spring.

I managed to stop into the quilt shop on the way home. I had a gift certificate to spend. I proved to myself that my sewing mojo is completely gone. I picked up fabric and looked at it and nothing appealed to me. I did get thread as I was completely out. I will be good now for several months once the mojo returns.

It was so very nice early this week, and I did not make it to quilt. I presumed it would be just a tad chilly in the garage as the residual from the winter weather would linger in the closed up heat sink of concrete called the garage.

No quilty offering again this week. Sorry. But progress has been made on the lavender doily. Another round is complete, and yet another starts. I am really liking this pattern as it is very repetitive and easy to just do without getting too fouled up. I highly recommend if you are a tatter and can make joins, this pattern is for you. Nothing complex about it. You can find the pattern here.

Round 4 above complete, round 5 is the same as the center medallion.

This took quite a bit of ironing to get it to set straight. Round 4 was squirrelly! My new steam iron came in handy. This helped it behave for those next wonderful rosettes. This will be surrounded by 8 more of these. This is what I am working towards. It still have one more round after this one. Another repeat of the clover and chains previously done. Joining in a different place is all.

I worried about those long chains not looking right, but I think after I get the rosettes all on, it will straighten those critters out!

I managed to stop by an estate sale today. Not much there. You could tell the man that did reside there, had lost his wife long ago. Not much fru-fru stuff in the estate. Lots of mens hats and nice furniture. I did find a ziploc bag with a few tatted pieces in it, so I snatched that for a whole buck. I discovered once I got home there were 3 small tea-cup doilies inside. One of these had been used in an arts and crafts steampunk something. It had a hunk cut out of it. I know it was canibalized for another craft because the tatted doily still was stiffened with starch.

Waiting for my mojo to return. If it does, you will be the second ones to know. Family will obviously see it first hand here at the house pre-post LOL.

TTFN….ta-ta for now! And thanks for reading my blog!

SnowMeggedon is Coming

Here in Texas, it is unusual to get inches of snow, plural, more than one inch. The state of Texas is a large state, with millions of miles of roads and a very small budget for purchase of sand and salt. So the 4-6 inches we are expecting where I live will shut us down for days. The northern readers of my blog will laugh at this. It is ridiculous as up north this is nothing. Usually the only way interstates are shut down is when snowfall happens so fast and thick that snowplows cannot keep up demand and/or there are blizzard like conditions of very little visibilty and drifting upon the roads.

It has been years since we have seen an accumulation, let alone very cold. I am glad when this happens as it kills the mosquitos and fleas and other undesirable insects. It is a nice reset for the upcoming months of spring.

Because Texas has warmer temperatures, this can affect trees greatly. We all know that sap is in the trunk of trees and flows when the temperature is not freezing outside. Because many Texas trees are green year round, this snow and ice expected can also interrupt electricity, the trees cannot take the extra weight of snow, and it bends their boughs. And then the freeze happens, and greenwood is no longer green and snaps the largest of branches like it was a twig. The last time this happened was about 7 or 8 years ago. The house was as quiet as it could ever be, and you would hear a thump or a crash and wonder where the large limb fell in the neighborhood. It does make a distinct noise, one that you cannot forget. It tops the healthiest of trees, and falls the widow maker branches, or creates new ones. I have removed all the trees in my yard. That does not mean the neighbors tree will or will not fall. I hope not, but mother nature is quite an unpredictable lass.

This week has been pretty weird. My quilting mojo is practically flatlined. I have picked up my tatting shuttles and have worked on the hanky (ordered thread, coming in the next few days).

I have just made up my mind to take the plunge and make a doily. Here it is all finished. I used my old Rowenta to press it with the wool mat. Pressed it good and flat.

And I kept thinking I would love to have something beautiful to work on a little larger than the one above. After much looking around on the internet I found this pattern. Seems simple enough, very do-able. This is the lavender version and is practice. Imperfect yes in size 20 cebelia thread. I started this out on size 30, and have figured out, I need to make this with bigger thread until I understand the pattern and feel confident I can manage the smaller thread size.

I have had much frustration with this, and have taken out closed rings, and snipped off chains. And in error tried to hide my tails and made mess of this, but when it gets done it will be useable and pretty enough. I will continue with this during SnowMeggedon 2021. And maybe the quilting mojo will come back soon!

Be looking for a post summary of last months worth of quilt stitching for ScrapHappy, and a very themed post that goes along with the snow coming.

Thanks for reading my blog! If you like what you see please share on social media and subscribe.

TTFN, ta-ta for now!

Looking back

Every year we reflect and look back at our accomplishments in blog-land, and every year we plan for the coming year. I went back and read my blog posts concerning these topics. This year was a disappointment. No so much for the doing and making but for the lack of seeing and quilt showing, and getting together for group sews.

It was started with the Dallas quilt show. Had my ticket purchased, vendors were setting up the day before, and it got cancelled at midnight after everything was all set up. That was the biggest disappointment, which parlez-ed into the rest of the quilt show world also cancelling.

Quilt show lovers, are you missing quilt shows? Go to youtube, you can see the quilts for the Road to California quilt show in Jan 2020. Someone has uploaded lovely videos for beautiful quilts. Click their channel to see more.

Also reading through they had announced that the famous quilt called “The Last Super” was coming to town. That was cancelled as well, but I did get to see this in person before.

I think we all had a hand at mask making.

I waited as long as I could to make them, and when I did there was no elastic to be purchased. Now there is ample elastic in all colors.

I was surprised by all the making and flurry of activity happening in the quilty world. All of the despair and loneliness really was over powered by small virtual connections and makers made and shared! I have seen ladies that finished 20 large quilts in one year, from start to finish. I know longarming can be a good business, but I think it will become backed up (probably worse than in previous years by a landslide). (I see much talent and huge quilt shows in the coming years that represent this place in time).

My accomplishments for 2020:

This year, looking back I will have a story to tell my grandchildren about one day, what will I tell them? I have the wisdom of the year behind me, but never got sick. Worked as an essential (not what you think), what will I tell them? I am not a ground zero for this. A question mark for my story now. In due time, crisis like these start making sense and the story will be easier to tell.

I secretly wished I did not have to get out and work when covid hit. I secretly wished they would cancel work. I wanted to sew so bad. I would come home after a days work, and see all the lovely things people were making because they were stuck at home indoors. I wanted a piece of that action, but it never happened.

I got to see the majority of my coworkers get to work from home, which caused me more hardship on the job. The working from home is probably here to stay. I got to see snow days go by the wayside, and schools went completely online, or offline. I saw no traffic in the streets. I saw what it was like to work nights. I got to see what it was like when the sidewalks roll up past dark from times long ago.

I will tell them that there was tremendous worry. Not worry for one’s self, but worry for others. If I visited someone and felt perfectly fine, I could be sick and make them sick and it could be deadly. I still worry about this. I have heard of people dying that were friends or relatives of friends who were coworkers. I have heard of hospitalizations of coworkers. I will tell them of all the people in the nursing homes being killed by the healthcare industry. I will tell them of instances of people actually leaving nursing homes. Loved ones not seeing their moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas for months made them jerk their loved ones out of that system and had the life altering event of actually taking care of the loved ones they took out of the nursing home (which is how it should have been to begin with). I will tell them the virus caused me NOT to get with family for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was cancelled due to a coworkers grandchild coming down with the virus. That was a bummer. Did the coworker have it? Nope, tested twice but did not find that out until after the Thanksgiving break. Hindsight…

This week while sewing, I made a 3 inch block called the Clowns Choice. The fabrics I used in this block are a perfect symbol for the year. I put gun fabric in it. Look at all that violence this year. I put biohazard fabric in this because of covid. And there is black and red in this block. The black represents death, and the red represents the blood of the world. The word clown, as this block is named, is appropriate for the jester like antics of this crazy year.

I came across a new Ray Stevens song on youtube, and it sums up the year perfectly, mentioning the purchase toilet paper. Thing song made me giggle. Hopefully as time goes by, my sense of humor on the seriousness of this will change.

We have seen political divide for years, but not on the scale of this year. The anxiety of this election was high, and is still high. It has divided the country. I have been thinking about this a lot and come to the conclusion the run for presidency is much like rooting for your favorite football team. No matter how bad the team is, you root them on, you care not how bad they are, you are loyal. Let’s face it, politicians for the most part are bad, and we still root them on, and actually get angry about it if someone talks ill of our “team”. This is much like Ford Vs Chevy. Or Navy Vs Army. Cowboys Vs Packers. We give the wrong people this loyalty. Loyalty should be saved for ones we know, family, friends, neighbors. We have it a bit backwards. Hindsight.

2020 is hindsight, glad it is behind all of us. I hope that all of us grew, built character, and learned lessons that we can teach others. I am ready for 2021, for the sunrises and all those sunsets. Long term goals to be determined. I just don’t want to commit to something impossible to achieve when things are so out of control. Playing it by ear. I liked my goal setting for each week, and may continue with that approach.

I look forward to finishing the 365 quilt block challenge. I look forward to more english paper piecing, and working some UFOs into the mix in 2021. I look forward to new tatting adventures. I look forward to using my quilting machine again. And I certainly look forward to being able to shop again and enjoy quilt shows. What do you most look forward to in the coming year? Please leave your comments in the comments section. We love all that input!

Wrapping up the year, I would like to say thank you to all the people who visit my blog. My numbers have been way up in the last few months. I am uncertain why that is, as I have changed nothing, but am glad others can enjoy my tidbits of quilting wisdom and all the other random things that come to be known as myquiltprojects.wordpress.com.

Readers, did you like this post? I encourage you to share my post on social media, that would really help me out. And thank you again for reading my blog!