Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Quilt Reveal: Kamaria

 


When I made the Project Quilting challenge quilt last week, I almost switched from making a light bulb to making a face.I have been admiring Freddy Moran and SewJean Impey's faces and have been wanting to make my own series for a while.

This week's Project Quilting challenge is about fussy cutting fabric. I think I can easily use the challenge to finally make a face.  I fussy cut the eyelashes, the lip and the shirt, but wanted to make it even more obvious with the birds.

I used a quarter yard of fabric as the background. It was cut a little big so it finishes at 9 1/2"  x 11 1/2". It uses the same techniques as the light bulb and was also fun to make.

SewJean always makes up a name and a story for each of her portraits, and Julie said she takes the time to research names.  Since this quilt uses the same yellow as the light bulb fabric, I looked for names that meant light. There were lots of good choices, but Kamaria stood out to me as Kamala Harris is sworn in today as Vice President. Kamaria is an African word for moonlight.Africa is a continent and not a language, but that is all the information the site had..

I especially like being able to put today's date on the quilt since it is a palindrome (same backwards and forwards). 1202021 and also 12021. I do want to make an inauguration / palindrome quilt, but I didn't want to make it until I saw the inauguration and didn't want to rush it.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Progress on Blue Shirts Quilt




Back in December (2019), I told you that I made a quilt out of blue uniform shirts.  They are 10 inch blocks. I made a 7 x 8 layout and tested it on the bed. I decided that it needed to be longer, a 7 x 9 layout. I made a row of blocks and was about to pin them to the quilt top when I saw that I needed to make another block.  I was hurrying because it was a birthday gift. I told myself not to complain, just make another block and get it done. So I made the block and joined it to the quilt. I sandwiched the quilt and quilted it. Just when I was about to trim and bind the quilt, I decided to try it on the bed again.

That's when I realized that I had added the extra row to the wrong side. Instead of a 7 x 9 layout, I had an 8 x 8. Aha, that is why I had that missing block. Rows of 8 blocks is fine, it just gives more overhang on the bed which is good, but it is still not long enough. By this time, it was too late to make yet another row, or to shop for another gift, so I wrapped up the unfinished quilt as a gift.

In early 2020, I started making more blocks to make an 8 x 9 layout. Then I got side tracked into making masks, and the sewing machine broke, and so did the used machine I had bought as a backup. Then one of the machines got stuck in the repair shop / store for the lockdown. I picked up the quote quilt and focused on it the rest of the year while the shirts quilt sat and waited. I had the machines back, but I needed to keep working on the quote quilt.

Now that its been more than a year since I've had this gifted quilt, and I am thinking about quilting plans for the new year. I have tested the machine by making a couple of small cotton quilts and it appears to be fine, so I thought I should finish up the shirts quilt while it is still winter. It is a big quilt and finishing and gifting it will give me more space in my sewing room, and clear up mental space to start new projects.


This is another photo from the archive. 2014. There are snow flurries today, but the ground is warm, so it is not accumulating.

2021:  Weeks 3 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

This week, I made the rest of the blocks for the shirts quilt and joined them into a row. I am a little bit nervous about joining a row to an already made quilt, but I think I should be able to do it without too much difficulty as long as I set up the space to avoid drag.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 17 out of 17 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Quilting Stats and Word of the Year


I know I have already given you a recap of my quilting year complete with pictures. 

Since these numbers keep changing, I wanted to document my inventory of my quilting for 2020.  I keep a running spreadsheet that lists the quilts I make. It includes the dates I started and finished the quilts. There are some additional columns that show the progress - fabrics cut, blocks made, border added, and quilted -- but I hid them because they clutter up the spreadsheet for the inventory.

The outstanding things I noticed is that I finished only one old project in 2020.  I have given myself permission to just make blocks instead of projects when I am experimenting with patterns, so it wasn't really on my radar as a UFO.  But I wasn't sure what to put as a start date, so I added the date I made the blocks.

It also appears that I didn't make any new UFOs. I finished every quilt I started, but I do plan to add more embellishments to the Fancy Squares quilt. After all, all quilts are subject to additions at any time.

I did move some older quilts further along, like the Quote quilt, Sunshine in Winter and the Yo-Yo quilt,  but they don't show up on the stats.

So the stats are as follows:

I have started 145 quilts in my lifetime.  Some of these are batches of quilts instead of separate ones, like postcards.

I have given away or sold 30% of these 145 quilts. I have finished 115 quilts, which is 79% of the quilts I have started.  I think that is a pretty good number, but I have five quilt tops ready to quilt and I would like to get to those this year. 

It takes about 9 and a half months to finish a quilt. Some quilts are worked on every day. Other quilts get made fifteen minutes at a time with lots of time on hold. The Advent Calendar was made quickly, but it took a good part of two days to make it. I changed the formula to add both the start and the end dates so now the average is 295 per quilt. 

This average completion time changes a lot since I make small quick quilts that reduces it by a lot, and working on UFOs increases it a lot especially when it is really old.  The number will increase substantially when I put a finish date on the Quote Quilt. This number is fun to look at because it changes so much, but I don't let it guide my choice of quilts. I could easily manipulate it by making a whole bunch of small or easy quilts, but I would rather allow myself to take on the time-consuming ones that appeal to me. The joy of a quick finish also lasts about that long, while the ones that took more time and effort make me proud long after the finish.

 Word of the Year

Since the word Laid Back helped me so much, I am hoping for a good word for this year too. This is difficult without knowing what the year has in store for us.  

I was debating between Advocate and Accept.  When I went to the doctor's office last time, I called the office from the parking lot as requested, and they said to come on inside. Usually this means that I am alone in the waiting room and they whisk me into an exam room right away. But this time there was a family there. There was a man in the hallway by the door, and in the waiting room was this mother / daughter pair. The mother was talking about her neighbor who had texted positive for COVID but kept her door open.  While she was discussing this situation, both of their masks was under their chins.

I stayed calm about the situation and joined their conversation but I kept checking my mask to make sure it was properly covering my face, and when I was about to ask the staff how long the wait would be, they finally called me to go to my exam room. Once I got there, I realized the severity of the situation and thought I should have done more. Maybe ask them to put their masks on, or ask for an exam room earlier. I have been able to avoid people during the pandemic, staying outside, keeping a distance, wearing masks, etc., so I didn't have any experience with what to do in this type of situation.

The doctor's office is now closed and doing tele-health only.

So I was thinking Advocate. I need to stand up for myself more.

But I was also thinking about Accept because everyone is trying to do what is right, but based on my information and experience, I may not agree with their decision. I have had people disagree with my housekeeping decisions and felt the need to advocate and ask for acceptance, so it is only right that I also give acceptance.  It is a fine line and I am hoping to find that right balance to get acceptance, but also give it. I was trying to think of the right word that would fall between Advocate and Accept.


Then when I was working on this art journal page, I thought I needed a quote for that space in the middle, so  found this quote.

“There's a story behind every person. There's a reason why they are the way they are. Think about that and respect the way they are.”

In looking up this quote, it looks like lots of people said the first two sentences. Right now, I think Respect would be a good word to use.  Both in giving and requesting Respect. I am going to try this one for size before committing to it.

RESPECT

2021:  Weeks 2 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I am so grateful to Kate for continuing the 15 Minutes to Stitch for another year.
 

My hard drive is failing, and this is one of the few photos I had saved on my Google Drive. I couldn't read the quote from the thumbnail, but it seems appropriate for the week.
 
This week, I made the light bulb quilt I showed you yesterday.  I also hand stitched the fusible I had attached to the back of the quote quilt.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 10 out of 10 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Quilt Reveal: Lightbulb

 I have been wanting to make a small quilt using yellow fabric ever since I brought out the yellow fabric to make more Sunshine in Winter blocks, so when Project Quilting announced a yellow and gray challenge, it seemed like the opportune time to make my quilt of the month. The challenge rules give us one week to make the quilt so it had to be kept simple, which is just my style.




Since the challenge was to use Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray, my brain got stuck on a light bulb. It's illuminating!  The light bulb is appliqued using raw edge, and since I can't keep things simple, I found a quote about light. to add to it. I used a fabric marker to add the quote. I let the light radiate out to the binding. I used my regular binding method which involved hand stitching to the back since my last time to machine sew it on was a flop. Stick to the tried and true. 

With the timely completion, the grungy background, the clear yellow light, the positive quote, and a good binding, I am happy with this quilt. It is about 12" square.

 

Links:

Be sure to check out all the other wonderful submissions to this challenge here.

Slow Sunday Stitching. I qualify for hand stitching the binding!

Off the Wall Friday

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Last and First 15 Minutes to Stitch Report

 

2020:  Weeks 53 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


You may think there are only 52 weeks in a year, but sometimes there is a leap year and a short week and then there are 53. What do you expect from 2020?

15 minute days this week -- 0 out of 4
15 minute days this year -- 308 out of 366 days
Success rate  = 84%
 
I didn't plan it right. Usually I am just fine missing weekdays since I can make it up on the weekends, but there are no weekends in these four days, and it didn't seem right to get credit for work done in 2021 in 2020. That means my success rate dropped down to 84%. It's fine, 84% is almost as good as 85% but it is disappointing to lose the 85% I had in my last report.

I spent the last of my 2020 cleaning up the main living areas.  Having focused so much on the basement this year, I wanted to provide some sense of normalcy in the living areas and start the new year right.  I finished the rug rotation project I was doing to make sure Zeus had enough traction as he walked around the house. We had a Zoom family gathering where we opened gifts. We have been trying to get away from giving gifts, but this year, we felt that it would be good to at least send representatives on our behalf since we couldn't be physically present.
 


2021:  Weeks 1 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I am so grateful to Kate for continuing the 15 Minutes to Stitch for another year. And since there are weekend days in these first few days of the year, I can once again make up for missed days. It is a leeway I give myself and are not part of the actual rules of the challenge.

I resisted starting new projects although I really want to, because I also really want to get some more finished quilts. The quilts need to be able to move up a place in line and they didn't really get to do that last year, as the Quote Quilt took up so much of my time, and new small quilts kept cutting in line. 

I decided to keep making progress on the Quote Quilt and have the batting and back prepared, so it should be a quilt sandwich next week. There probably won't be much to show as I add stitches here and there to secure the layers.
 

I will still be making the mini quilts so you will continue to get eye candy on my blog.

15 minute days this week -- 3 out of 3
15 minute days this year -- 3 out of 3 days
Success rate  = 100%

 
Linked with:
 

15 Minutes to Stitch

 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Advent Calendar

 


I posted my end of the year report earlier this morning, and am amending it to report that I finished another mini quilt before the end of the year. This is an advent calendar with 24 pockets. I like all the designs for the days.

I bought the kit at the Connecting Threads sale. I bound it by machine with a decorative stitch.

I am not used to binding on the front so it did wind up wobbly, but I wasn't aiming for perfection when making it. It is a quick and simple quilt to make. 

I want to thank Wendy Caton Reed for encouraging us to make a small quilt every month. Her posts showcase lots of inspiring small quilts and other projects. She is very talented.  I learn a lot from visiting her blog.

2020 Year in Review

This is a recap of my blog posts this year. There were plenty of good things to share.

 
The word of the year was Laid-Back. I am so glad that I chose this word this year, as it has helped me keep relaxed and just accept the situation without trying to do more "productive" and life-goal type of things. I couldn't remember last year's word of Appreciate, but this year, I kept Laid-back in my mind throughout the year.
 

January

 

In laid-back spirit, I decided to just move quilts forward instead of making big plans. 
 

 
I made a bunch of yo-yos out of 1930s authentic and reproduction fabric as well as fabric that fits that style. I also sewed the square centers to make them double sided. There are 756 yo-yos in total.
 

 
I also made more blocks for my circle 365 quilt. I started with 269 at the beginning of the year. The photo is block 272. I didn't work on these past January.


 I made this little quilt - Maximum Minimal. I added that flower on the bottom left in February.

I also continued making an index card a day or so. I continued making these throughout the year.

February

 

In February, I was tired of making yo-yos and my sewing machine needed repair, so I brought out the quote quilt and added a ladder. 


I made the hearts quilt.


 I also made this Red and White Silhouette quilt for the Color It Red bloghop.


I also added more motifs to the quote quilt. 

In February, I also started showing collections of my quilts in a new feature I call 

March


In March, I revealed Fancy Squares mini of the month. My sister has given me some great embellishments to add to this quilt so you will see a reintroduction of this quilt at some point.

 

I kept adding more embellishments to the Quote Quilt.

April


 In April, I made a number of masks from a number of different patterns to see which ones were better. I shipped them off to my cousin in Canada. I found it very stressful to make masks.

May

I kept adding more things to the Quote Quilt.

June

 

In June, I added more things to the quote quilt. At the end of the month, my brother had a heart attack and suddenly passed away.

July


 Besides more additions to the Quote Quilt , in July, I made the Pinwheels quilt from blocks I had made a long time ago.

August


In August, I showed you more of my One Index Card a Day.


I kept adding more things to the Quote Quilt.


I made this 1930s Boro Quilt.

September

 
In September, I kept adding things to the Quote Quilt.
 

October

 
 
In October, I kept adding things to the Quote Quilt. 
 
I also made some more blocks for Sunshine in Winter.

 I also painted a coffee table my neighbor was discarding. There is another (new?) neighbor on a nearby street who says she has 27 cats. They like to visit my porch and hide out underneath this table. It is always a surprise to see a different cat each time on the porch.


November

I kept adding things to the Quote Quilt.

December

 
 In December, I kept adding things to the Quote Quilt. I also made this Blue Ornaments quilt.

2020

This year has been pretty turbulent, with the on and mostly off job situation, trying to avoid getting or giving coronavirus, my brother passing away, worrying about and trying to find relief for my dog's arthritis, and dealing with so many of my appliances breaking down. 
 
But it has also been good in many ways. I had lots of free time to do more of the things I enjoy, like cooking and quilting. I took online art classes and am more comfortable with water color and acrylic painting and collage and drawing.  I also have made substantial progress in long overdue household chores, especially my basement cleaning.

The word of the year, Laid-Back, and my early choice of picking up the Quote Quilt helped me a great deal. The 15 Minutes of Stitching a Day also kept me going. Even through hard times, I could pick up some fabric and find some comfort.