Sunday, July 15, 2018

15 Minutes to Stitch Recap

I haven't done much stitching this week. I put the binding on the Star Spangled Banner this week. As usual, I didn't remember to take the reveal photo until it was dark and haven't set up a light to brighten my bulletin board.

Mostly I spent this week cleaning up the living room where I sew and other parts of the visible areas of the house. The living room was clean enough to invite a gathering of relatives. Since then, I also spent some time cleaning up the Cave of Wonders, where the supplies reside.


Faced with what seems like an impossible task, a group of folks will do well to remember the African proverb: When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion.
Johnnetta B. Cole 

This spider web is close to the outside hose, and this spider web got wet while I was watering some grass seed I am trying to grow in the back yard. I liked the sparkly suspended water droplets and the shadows they made.

15 Minute sessions of stitching these weeks:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  182 out of 196 sessions
Success rate: 93%

Last week, I said that cleaning up sewing areas counted as stitching time, and in that regard, I had a successful week of "stitching," and with the help of rounding, was able to bump up my yearly success rate.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Star Spangled Picnic Quilted

I have quilted Star Spangled Picnic. I free-motioned stitched some fireworks on the top.

I used the decorative stitches on my machine for the tablecloth / ground. More fireworks. We really like fireworks in this neighborhood, and by "we," I mean the neighbors, and not Zeus.

I used wavy stitches for the flag.

The bird is carrying the E pluribus unum banner.

To add to the summer picnic theme, there are bicycles near the watermelon.

I thought I missed a week of reporting my fifteen minutes to stitch, but, oh my, it has been a month!  I'm pretty sure I managed to sew the required amount of time during the month. I finished making the top for On Ringo Lake, now known as Sorrento, put away all the fabric used in making this top, and started the Star Spangled Picnic. It just needs a binding and label.

15 Minute sessions of stitching these weeks:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  175 out of 189 sessions
Success rate: 92%

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday 
Let's Bee Social 
WIP Linky Party
Midweek Makers 
WIPs on Wednesdays 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Star Spangled Picnic

Since I had the day off yesterday, I decided to truly take the day off and do whatever I wanted to do. No rules whatsoever. I made a nice meal and made this from a free pattern that was available from Laugh Yourself Into Stitches. I've been wanting another Fourth of July quilt, and figured fourth of July was a perfect time to start one.

I was going to use a pink fabric for the watermelon but wasn't sure how well it was going to work with the flag. Then I found the dotted fabric and thought it would work great for seeds, and I could use it without having to put the seeds in separately. I was also thinking about taking another shortcut and not use the HSTs either.  In the end, I decided not to be lazy and just make it the way the pattern suggested.

I did decide to make this project more primitive and some of that was even on purpose.

Then when making the bird, I found the striped fabric, and decided that making the fabric do the work wasn't lazy, it was smart, so I used the striped fabric.

Linked to:
Finish it Friday - hey, I finished the top!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Planning Party Semiannual Review

Back in December, we had a planning party, and chose some goals for the year. I chose to make my goals very generic and loose, hoping it would be easy to say that I had accomplished my goals. Here's the abbreviated version of the goals.

Let's see. What are my plans for my year?
1. Finish things.    I want to move the quilt along a little bit and make [the queue] smaller.  While I don't feel the need to eliminate the line since I like working on more than one quilt at a time, it would be nice to get some quilts progress to the completion stage.  
 2.  Have fun.  I am hoping that I can maintain the relaxed attitude I have had lately about quilting and keep reducing quilt guilt. If I can keep the rules to a minimum, I can thoroughly enjoy my quilting and genealogy hobbies.

3.  Clean and organize.  As you know,  have been cleaning and organizing my entire house using an adapted version of Marie Kondo's Konmari Method.  I have gotten through the main spaces, and decluttered and organized quite a bit.  The next space will have to be the sewing room / craft supplies.

Let's see how we did.  In the Finish Things category, this year, I showed you a finished Adinkra wall hanging, a finished fabric book, and two finished Valentine's quilts.  The goal was to make the unfinished list smaller, and I'm not sure I did that. The fabric book and Valentine's quilts were not on the list at the end of the year, so they don't really reduce the list, except maybe as a percentage of finished projects.

I did start a crazy quilt class, made some stumpwork portraits that now need something done with them. I am not going to call these quilt projects, because the goal was always to use them as practice and not to make quilts, so I am not counting them.  I did make more circle blocks and make progress on a old-time crazy quilt block. Since Adinkra is finished and I have made substantial progress for On Ringo Lake, I am going to  check off the Finish Things category and quickly move on to the next category before the auditors notice.

In the Have Fun category, I will refer you back to the mini quilts, the fabric book, the stumpwork practice, and the crazy quilt practice. I also made a snippet roll. Maybe even the On Ringo Lake quilt at times. I also have a start to the next genealogy junk journal.  I have to say that I excelled at the Have Fun category. I played around to get practice with lots of new-to-me things and thoroughly doing so without guilt.  I even managed to not make rules about having to finish by a certain time or even a requirement to finish at all.  When I was first reminded of this goals list last week, I was thinking that this is the only category that I could easily check off as a resounding success.

Do you think the auditors will notice that I forgot to talk about the clean and organize category?

I have to admit that the day after I wrote up the plans for the six months, I realized that I had just given myself six months to clean one room.  Six months for just one room! I was absolutely giddy.  Fooled everyone, didn't I.

Well no, I fooled myself.  Mind you, I did spend some time at the beginning, at least fifteen minutes a day for at least a week, cleaning.  But then I started new projects and moved things around, and well, things probably aren't much better looking now than they were in the beginning of the year.  I will spend more time this week to clean up that room.

To be fair, I was busy at work, and I'm pretty sure I have worked more days this year so far than I have in previous years.  Also, I finished the On Ringo Lake quilt top!

I am going to take a break from this quilt to work on other projects, and for the next two weeks, I am allowing myself to use my stitching time for cleaning up my sewing space.

Linked to:
2018 MidYear Review

Thursday, June 28, 2018

June's Favorite Photos

It isn't the end of June yet,  but since I am generally late with my favorite photos post, I thought I would surprise you with an early post.  Helps keeps things exciting and unpredictable for you. I have 507 pictures from which to use, and there are so many gorgeous flower pictures that it is hard to choose.

Linked to: Wandering Camera

I decided to show you the more unusual ones.

Once upon a Summer day,
Birds chirped in a musical way,
Grass drenched in the morning dew,
The sky covered in a vast color of blue.

Once upon a summer day,
Flowers bloomed in full array,
Bright rays of sunlight spilled
Upon my garden on the hill.

Once upon a summer day,
Thunder rumbled and prolonged its stay,
But after the rain tumbled down,
This summer day wore a glorious rainbow crown.

Once Upon A Summer Day Joseph T. Renaldi

Saturday, June 23, 2018

So Close Yet So Far

When I wrote my last post, I was expecting to surprise you with a photo of the finished quilt top for On Ringo Lake. When I realized that would not happen, I thought I would surprise you with a photo of a finished quilt top for my weekly recap of my quilting goal of stitching 15 minutes a day. That explains why that recap didn't happen timely, and then the week just got away from me.

There was no work on Monday so I got a week's worth of stitching all on Monday, and I did a lot of stitching on other days this week too, so I can go ahead and give you my recap for this week as well as last.

15 Minute sessions of stitching these weeks:  14 out of 14
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  147 out of 161 sessions
Success rate: 91%

My success rate went up!  I've only missed an equivalent of 14 days this year.  Pretty good, if I say so myself. I am also happy that I am keeping up with this quilt and getting it done.

You are probably expecting a finished quilt top since it has been yet another week of sewing, but no.

I am down to the middle rows, the ones that the corners on them. This part needs extra thinking to make sure everything is turned and joined the right way.   I have decided that I do need all the blocks and am following Bonnie's size.  This means I need to sew together the row of sashing blocks that I wasn't sure I would need. Also, when I made the other sashing rows, I got carried away and put the blue cornerstones on the outside too, and needed to change those out for the brown triangles.  All of this means that the process is slowed down a little, but I am enjoying it as there is a variety of things to do.

Linked to:
Moving it Forward Monday 
15 Minutes to Stitch 
UFO Busting 25

“Dandelions are just friendly little weeds who only want to be loved like flowers.”  Heather Babcock

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Problem With the Blue

When I first saw the reveal of the On Ringo Lake quilt, I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed at first glance.  I was scrolling slowly, to savor the anticipation and joy of the reveal, and the first part of the scroll was almost nothing but blue. It was the setting triangles that form the border, but it just seemed like too much blue.  Then I kept scrolling and saw the other colors and saw how beautiful the quilt really is and was happy again.

Yet there was something about the blue that kept bothering me. That is why when I saw the neutral stripe in someone's setting triangles, I decided to add one too. It reduced the amount of blue in the setting triangles. I thought about putting the neutral stripe on the outside of the setting triangle so it would serve as a beach for my lake, but I really liked it better on the inside where it looks more like an inner border.

Then I had a contrary feeling, I kept thinking, that is not enough blue. It is a lake, it should have more blue. So I changed the cornerstones from brown to blue to add more blue in the center. Why am I thinking it is too much blue and not enough blue at the same time?

Finally,  I figured out what my problem was.  The blue in a lake is supposed to be on the inside, not the outside.  The outside is supposed to be the beach and the land and the inside is supposed to be the blue lake.

This may seem like an insurmountable problem. After all, I've come too far to remake my blocks in a new colorway. However, the solution to this problem is really quite easy.

Instead of calling it a lake, we can call it an island.  My first inclination is to think of Alcatraz, as in the former jail that I saw in San Francisco. It was a beautiful place, but the stories of the jail were somewhat depressing. Even though I am enjoying putting the rows together now, the name is fitting with my feeling about sewing when I was making the same block over and over and over again.  And the many other projects I keep telling myself I can't start because I need to get this one done first. But really, I do like this quilt and I am enjoying making it.

Then I got an offer for a free 8x10 from a drugstore.  I looked at recent pictures, but you know, I haven't taken any good family pictures this year, or last.  People don't like being constantly photographed, so most of my photos, even at family gatherings, tends to be of things - flowers, decorations, cake, etc. For my free 8x10, I picked a random year, and found my pictures from my trip to Italy. Although my photographs didn't capture the magnificent beauty of the place, looking back at them was a great reminder of the area and the joy of spending time with my daughter.

YES! I can see this quilt as an island in Italy. Capri is the name of the island we saw, but we only spent one day there. And even though the other towns were not islands, I can imagine these shady streets, and sparkling swimming pools, the gardens, the courtyards, and picturesque sunsets when looking at this quilt.  And with a new name, this quilt is suddenly much more appealing. It's not a lake, it is an island, a resort town, or a coastline. The triangles jugging into the water easily look like the towns that are built on the cliffs overlooking the water. I might call it Amalfi Coast, which is more accurate name for the quilt layout, or Sorrento, which is where we stayed.

It is amazing how a simple change of perspective can change the whole feel of the quilt.

Linked to:
UFO Busting 24
Monday Making 
Oh Scrap!

"The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don't have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it." Chris Pine