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!

The full moon

Happy Halloween! This years Halloween happens with a full moon, this adds to the spooktacular 2020 eh?

I can feel the intensity of the pull of the moon. I usually feel it most with my children and their behavior. They have been mis-behaving more than usual. I also feel this through the vibes at work and how things lead up to a disaster in the work front. (Mom could always tell when it was a full moon by how many things were dropped and broken at the grocery store she worked at). I suspect when I get back to work on Monday I will hear of someone getting fired for something stupid. But I truly feel it most at work as everything falls to pieces right before or right at the height of it. And then the ebb and flow become a normal steady again. We survive only to do it again in another few months in the algorithm.

Monday will prove to be a Monday more than ever. I was told today that one of my coworkers has symptoms of covid and went for a rapid test. I do not know the results yet but have decided not to visit my parents this weekend just in case. I was planing on free motion quilting this weekend. That shoots down that idea.

If the young man I work with has it, he probably contaminated most of my workmates. My contact with him was hardly at all. So I am good, but just in case, will keep my parents safe.

On to dark things in the quilty dept….#AlaskaRainbowQuiltAlong is indeed coming right along. I am a block ahead as of today. I have only a few more blocks to sew and the blocks will be complete. I cannot believe I have only worked on this for one week and am this far!

Rather than show you pictures of individual blocks I have opted to take a photo collage of all. I am liking the pop of this!

I see the circle forming. When I laid this out on the bed, I could not see the pattern. The camera helps bring it out. I think if I would have been able to stare at it farther back, it would have been seen through my normal lens. But I cannot walk through walls, I am not a ghost!

I managed to acquire some vintage feed sack reproductions. I just love these!

The hog wash one is my favorite! How funny!

During my blog readings in the evening, I read a post about Urban Elementz having a huge sale. So I visited it virtually, and found free paper pantographs!

There are many, I opted to only print the ones that are quick and will make me the most quilting money in the future (thank you to my quilting machine dealer she warned me to charge more for the heavy patterns because they do take longer….glad for that wisdom!).

I suspect there will be a major earthquake somewhere tomorrow. The world is averaging more than 45 earthquakes in a 24 hour period. Today the count is 58 as of writing this post. The other day it was up to 96 quakes. It is about that time that the united states has a big one somewhere. Another horrific thing to add to 2020. I hope I am wrong.

I am off to live life as normally as possible at the house. Normalcy is impossible off my property. We are all ready for this to come to a close. An anticipation we all look forward too! Don’t forget to vote. I will add no politics to the vote, just please vote. American’s do have control of things at the top, it all is with the vote you cast!

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog! May my next blog post be less frightful!

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!

This weeks Textile

Well, quilting is just not in the mix of things. Work, work, work, has me drained, drained, drained. I do have both days of the weekend off and will be using that time to tidy things up a bit. I have not vacuumed in a week! And when you have humans at home 24/7, those varmints really can live it up!

In the evenings, I am in the mood to just relax. No sewing happened since last weekend.

So, to keep my hands busy I have picked up the tatting shuttles again. Nothing beats a 12 hour day with a nite cap of tatting. Very relaxing, effortlessly. Quilting is like that too, but my set up at the sewing machine is to stand and sew. And I am too tired to do anymore of that.

I started working this free pattern from youtube.

Due to my picos being too small mine will have 9 points. I am now on my second attempt because I forgot some rings. I really want this to turn out. It will be my largest work yet.

I did give a gob of masks to my son. Where he lives no one is wearing masks, as so demonstrated when we dined IN at the Dairy Queen. Of about 30 people that either worked there or were customers 3 wore masks. I hope he can either sell them and keep the money or wear them as intended.

Well, I got my Connecting Threads catalogue in the mail. I am off to prop up my feet and feast my eyes on some new fabric lines and ideas.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading my blog!

Seeing Red!

Happy Sunday, readers!  I hope you are all enjoying your day.  I have been suffering from a headache/migraine that has decided to depart with a little help from Magnesium.  I have felt so good in fact today that ALL OF THE 365 QUILT BLOCK CHALLENGE MARCH BLOCKS ARE COMPLETED!  Hence the reason I am seeing red!

First I would like to share my formula, that helps me decide my fabrics.  I have a pile of fabrics.  Depending on what my daily BOM (bill of materials) tells me, depends on what I select.  Playing with contrast is key at this step.

A long time ago when I was working on the tumbler quilt, I realized that the same fabric could be considered light or dark depending on the value of fabric it was placed next too.

tumblerdone

Every other tumbler in this quilt alternates between light and dark.  A tan could be placed next to dark blue or black and it could be considered the lighter value.  A tan could be dark enough placed next to a white that it would look dark.  You can probably see all the repeats in there if you look closely enough, some as the dark value and some on the light.

The same holds true for the 365 quilt block challenge.

Each day has its’ own block.  Each block can vary between only two colors used to 4, 6 or even 8.  When the BOM calls out for blocks A and B to be Dark Dark, and block C and D to be medium, and medium dark, this simple task of pairing fabrics can be difficult.  You have to pay attention to placement to make sure there is enough contrast between the Dark Dark and the Medium Dark pieces that touch.

With the help of the homemade Alpha Bitties my Mom made for me (thanks Mom, I am using them every day to help keep things straight), I select what fabrics are to be dark, or medium dark, or light and place the corresponding letter for that block.

Here I have assigned the BOM blocks to cut from these pieces of fabric.

design wall helper

design wall helper 2

I then cut the fabrics to the dimensions on the BOM, and then keep them with the Alpha Bitties so I don’t get turned around.  Here is the block board (Lori Holt’s design that I made at TOGA, and boy I have been using the heck out of it).  Then I subcut or draw lines as prescribed in directions.

design wall helper 3

It makes it so much easier if you have 35 pieces in your 3 1/2 inch block to keep them all straight and sewn in the right place!

Todays block was sewing a partial seam (yuck), and sewing the remainder part of the block normaly, revisiting that first partial seam making it whole.  Not my favorite, but nice to know that I can do it!

This block was making 4 tiny flying geese to surround a square.

design wall block

Nothing more frustrating to be making all these tiny cuts to fabric and learn you have to cut a huge chunk out of a larger piece because you sewed the wrong left wing where you should have sewn it to the right wing.

During the course of the last 5 months, sewing these small blocks, I took some very good advice from someone (who took multiple years to finish their 365 quilt top).  The only thing she said she would change was she thought she made all of her dark 3 1/2 inch blocks too dark.

So, I decided to look at contrast a bit and realized I could use the same concept of my tumbler quilt in this 365 quilt.  If I chose the color black every now and again, I could use a dark red as a medium dark red, and sew on and sew fourth!  I even went to the trouble and placing some light colors amongst the darks, so that I would get good contrast when they all go together.  I am sew thankful for the advice offered by a fellow quilter.  Very good advice, indeed!

Independently these blocks are kind of ugly, but when you place them as a whole, it gives a wonderful variety.

Today I have three legs sewn of the center medallion border.  Only one more of those to go and I am running out of ideas for the lighter fabrics.  I made need just one more lighter red to make that side happen.  But in the mean time, I laid it out, not in any particular order.  The large cornerstone blocks around the medallion have not been made yet, but it did not keep me from laying them out on the floor to see how this was going to look and if I needed to take a different direction.

center

Just look at all those contrasting blocks!  And forgive me I got so excited I did not even pay attention to the yellow bookmark photo bombing this picture LOL.  By making some black, some dark red, and some with just a hint of light fabric, it has made my eyes happy!  All of this work, hours and hours, and now I can start to see the picture coming in to focus.

I am going to steer this direction for the lighter blocks too.  I will probably use loud and colorful neutrals (yes there is such as thing) and incorporate that style as I go.  Here are some I made so far.  Most of this color fades at greater than 6 foot leaving just a hue of soft blue, or pink, or even tan.  I am very happy with that.

Well, I have felt good enough to play, it is time to get to work in the kitchen.  Potstickers for supper, MMMMmmm.  Light, simple, delicious!  And tomorrow it is back to work.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, and crave weekends like this every week.

May your week be filled with productivity and well-being!  And thanks for reading my blog!

 

SuperStar!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  You are a true superstar!  Just look what you managed with a broken arm!

superstar

I am going to have a blast quilting it too!  No charge….I insist!

Enjoying my day!  Enjoying my family!  And Enjoying my sewing machine time!

red starpinwheels3 half and 6 half blocks

The large blocks above are 6 1/2 inches and will finish 6 inches in the quilt.  The little blocks surrounding are 3 1/2 inches and will finish 3 in the quilt.  The upper corner basket turned out so adorable (adorable block has 29 pieces within 3 inches!!!!!)  And liking the large red star in the opposite corner.  Would I have ever selected such a ridiculously challenging block all by my self to sew for a quilt for myself or someone else?  The short answer is no.  I am really liking the exercise of all my tools and pushing my quilting boundaries.  Color and value and contrast can be hard, but I am slowly learning that if I just select a lighter shade and a darker shade, it comes together.  It matters not what shade or hue of color is there.  I am learning different methods, with an occasional visit with the seam ripper.  The good news using the seam ripper on any of these blocks, the pieces are so small, it takes no time to undo an oooops.  I might add it is very satisfying to mark each one as done.

After visiting my printer yesterday I see that I will be sewing the whole center medallion and surrounding blocks soon!  Exciting!

I really have the urge to start a new project,  Yesterday I played with my precuts to see if I could match things up to create another top.  But, I have all this red fabric pulled and crowding my work area.  I opted to sew one.  One block became two, and before you know it, I had 7 done.  Now I am past 12.  Time is ignored today, a Mom’s kind of day.

Happy Mother’s day!  And thanks for reading my blog!

We had visitors! And they do not care of Social Distancing Governor!

I keep reading reports all over the internet, with how quiet society has become, the wildlife tends to migrate into territories within the city!  I have seen a herd of deer walking down main street (on the internet).  Have you been outside at all, can you hear the world peace’n quiet going on?  I does not matter what time of day I am outside, I do not hear the roar of vehicles on the road or for that matter modern civilization.  I did not realize how loud we are!  More on this in a bit.

Me working the grave yard shift, tends to be un-nerving while trying to sleep.  The windows are wide open, and the neighbors come home at 1:30 a.m. and they decide to play fetch with the barking little dog.  Or they smoke cigarettes and the smell wafts into the house.  Little things constantly bugging me when I try to sleep but can’t.

One night (I have forgotten which night because there was so much sleep deprivation this week), I kept hearing a buzz on the kitchen screen.  Sounded like a june bug on steroids.  I had to go shew it away.  And by golly, it was not a june bug at all, but a Luna Moth.  I have only ever seen one other Luna Moth in my lifetime, and I think it was at night too.  So I did not shew it away.  I admired it’s beauty and took pictures so I could show the children in the morning what had visited.

The best surprise the next morning, it was still there!  And they got to enjoy it’s beautiful, large green wings with fern, fuzzy feelers.  The little thing died, on my window sill.  In looking at it in the daylight, it looked like it had mildew on it’s wings.  I have not looked into Luna Moth deaths, and have no idea what it died from, other than natural causes.  I was a little sad, that I got to be the last living being to see it alive.

luna moth

Here it is, a bit shriveled and looking less than lively, but at peace and beautifully so.

And then there was the next night, the damn golden retriever that lives behind us, was alerting us, that something fierce was in the backyard.  That dog wanted to kill whatever it was.  I have heard the dog bark like this before, and it was an armadillo.  Finally at 2:30 a.m. the owner came out and had a talk with the dog.  He only barked a couple of more times.

I awoke the next morning, doing my normal morning routine, and that dog started up it’s fierce barking again.  I threw on some clothes, thinking I was going to find one of my cats taunting the dog.  Nope, as I got closer, the dog’s barking increased, he was really upset whatever was in the tall grass.

I got about 5 ft away and saw something orange in the grass, at first thinking, is this a robin?  Why would the dog be barking at a bird?  Then I got closer, and saw the dog was having a fit over a tortoise.  Can you believe that?

turtle

I used to have a turtle like this one in my youth.  He was more green and yellow spotted, than pink and orange.  I brought him inside long enough for his beautiful head to poke out so the children can see the dots and color in nature.  I could not have designed fabric as vibrant as the head and neck of the trespasser.  No social distancing for the wildlife that crosses into the yard!

On the crafty side of life, very little sewing has transpired.  They did release the final mystery clue in the Sew Quester quilt along.  I aim to work on this on my only day off for the week, tomorrow.

I have enjoyed a bit of tatting here and there, but find I do not want to pick it up, if I am just going to be interrupted with chores or questions, or other silliness the children seem to offer relentlessly.

ECCC513F-8C53-4660-8D14-89EEAA2A90E7

I hate being idle.  It seems like such a waste of time.  I did learn a dutch word this week about how nothing is really going on right now, it is called niksen, to do nothing.  Yup, niksen (pronounced nixon) is what my life is all about at home right now.

I know I can speak for us all, we all want things to be normal again.  And the good news is, it will return.  The gesture of a handshake will be most pleasurable, as well as hugs to go around.  It’s the simple things in life.

During my commute I did hear an old Alabama song, it made me smile.  To All the essentials, it was written for you, years before it’s time, if that makes any sense.

 

This song make me a bit sad, as Pittsburg steel workers, are no longer, coal mining is no longer, Detroit is no longer,  NAFTA has killed American jobs.  Thank goodness the farmers are still feeding the world.  Thank goodness the truck drivers are still delivering goods.

Maybe this virus is a reset.  And all will live and be happily ever after……food for thought.

Thank you for reading my blog!

 

My Week In Review

In the crafty corner of life, not much has happened.  I did get caught up on the Sew Quester mystery quilt along.  The blocks are all sewn, I just need to press them.  I can’t wait for step 5 and 6!  🙂

needs ironed

With life and it’s hairy-ness I decided to do something different for a change.  It has been a good while since I got out the tatting shuttles to tat a bit.  Boy have I gotten rusty.  I chose a pattern which I thought was manageable at my skill level.  It was harder than I anticipated, but worth the growth!  I started this yesterday before work, and realized I forgot to make a couple of joins.  So, I just cut that off, said a few dang its, and started over.  This heart took me all day.  It was nice to keep my hands and mind busy.

tatted heart

I also figured out when doing a pattern of this nature to print out the pattern and proceed to mark it off as I go, otherwise I will get lost on which ring I am making, or the count on my chain.  For smaller pieces that is not big deal.  As I get more rehearsed, perhaps the need to make tick marks on my pattern will become obsolete.

This heart is for the world, a world full of worry, of illness, of stillness.  My heart goes out to those in the extremes throughout the world.  Some will have a horrific future of adjustment, hunger, loss.  All of us will grow from this and become wiser, with a bit more character.   Human’s unite!  The hidden message in all of this, the year 2020.  It is giving us the vision to see how we have never seen before.

This heart was originally given away on Georgia Seitz’s website.  Thank goodness Frivole transcribed this into a tatting diagram to help me make my joins.  Click here if you are interested in this free pattern.

I had previously written about tatting and how therapeutic it is to work and keep your hands busy.  Tatting is the art of making knots.  I find I like to tat when life is stressful.  You work the knots out of life by working them into your work, does this make sense?

Since my schedule is not leaving much time for sewing or quilting, I thought tatting would bring a little joy to those spare bits of change called time.  Time well spent.  I am currently printing off my next pattern to keep the hands and mind busy.

And thanks for reading my blog!

Life is short

Life is full of anxiety right now.  It is much like going through a divorce and not knowing your wack-job spouses next move.

Abundance is prepping.

………….and for some a sin called gluttony.   For those of you who have toilet paper check to see where it is made.  For years I was under the assumption it was made by Kimberly-Clark here in the states.  But after toilet paper-gate, if you read the package, it is made in China!  No wonder there is a shortage.  Thanks congress and NAFTA!

I presume everything is a month out, meaning the ports where Chinese shipping containers once were never ending, are completely empty.

If you live in the States, you are rabbits down the hole, waiting for this Alice in Wonderland scenario to stop.

Due to the demands of my job, I am working.  For those of you who read this and think, oh she is so lucky, think again.  I work in a plant with 6000 other people and we were all told to continue to show up for work.  So I go to work waiting for the announcement that I will have to go into quartantine.

My anxiety is high.  I am a home body, and work has always been a necessary evil.  But now it is like a double edged sword.  There is always the reality that a family member can be taken from me, and you dwell and worry to yourself.

I assume anger will be the next emotion.  My employer constantly puts out emails stating “our employees health and safety are important to us”.  I decipher this  as, My 401k stipend on my ceo salary has fallen in huge numbers.  Since part of my pay is through stock dividends, I must keep them up.  By keeping the numbers up, I am therefore, personally, more valuable.  By keeping them working, I will still have a job so I can pay for the jaguar and the million dollar home.

For those of you without money problems, now is the time to invest.  I foresee oil a great place to start since there is so much overproduction right now.  A little economics class in high school taught me about the law of supply and demand.

Now is also the time to place hedge bets against companies.  Those who were weak before this, will go belly up in less than a month.  I foresee JC Penny saying good bye.  Who do you think will tank?  Walmart?  They rely too heavily on China.

Because it is so hard for me to focus/concentrate, minimal sewing happened this week.  I was kind of down that I am continuing to work, potentially incubating and spreading for two counties that I work and live in.

I am uncertain if you would consider this a rant?  Whatever you want to call it, it is what it is.

toilet paper roll on ceramic plate
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com