Sunday, November 19, 2017

Day 1 of Circle 365

When I turned the page to November 16 in my 5-year diary on Thursday, I saw that it has been a big day over the years.  In 2014, I got a cute sticker I was able to add to beautify my page. Apparently that was the only exciting thing that happened that day. But in 2015, I was painting my picnic table and in 2016, I finally found and bought my sofa.

The other exciting thing about that day was that it was Day 1 of the Circle 365 quilt. The one where you make a circle a day for 365 days and at the end of the year you can make a whole quilt out of your circles.  Yeah, well, Day 1 was in 2015. And I am still nowhere near 365 circles. I haven't given up on the project, it is just that I keep making other things.

But to commemorate anyway, I made some more circles. I am also showing some circles I made earlier this year but probably haven't shown yet. According to my blog, the last one I showed you was 191 in July.

Block 192

I believe this was a fabric that was gifted to me by another quilter.  It looks like a leftover from a bigger circle. It was in the box unsewn, so I sewed it on.

Block 193

When I bought the extension table (which I still have to review), it came with a circle maker.  I decided to practice using it.   It makes bigger circles than I expected.  Here I am trying to see if I can finagle it to make smaller circles.

Block 194

This circle is made of the backing fabric of the Adinkra quilt. I will press it at some point.

Block 195

This is one of the blocks that was already made, so I am not sure if I have shown you. I couched a yarn.

Block 196


You did expect some red and white fabric here didn't you? Does that make this quilt a child of one of the other generations? Or is it a distant cousin since it won't share much DNA with the others.

Block 197

There's another one. Both of these were already made and in the box.

Block 198

This one was also made from the gifted fabric, and was in the box.

Block 199

Another one that was already made. It uses Adinkra fabric. The address is from a piece of junk mail I was using as a backdrop.  It was really windy outside and all the blocks kept flying away.

Block 200

Block 200! You don't know how happy this makes me. Nice big round number.  More Adinkra fabric left over used with Life of Plenty leftover. Of course, if I have already shown you any of these blocks, I may have to backtrack.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Red and White Tree

Two quilt reveals in a row!  I am on a roll!

The last time you saw this quilt, it looked like this:

This is a third generation of the red and white quilts, and I was pretty sick of the red and white by now.  I've already learned that the fabric looks pink from a distance and doesn't even play nicely as a red and white quilt, so making a third one of these was irritating me.  Whoever made up the arbitrary rule that I should keep making red and white quilts?

I looked at the package I won, and back at this quilt, and decided the green would look quite nice as apples.  I know you and I both thought that the red could be leaves or apples, but we were both wrong; the apples are green. Since this was supposed to be a scrap quilt, I found some other scraps that might work and brought them downstairs. (Yes there is a blue apple and yes I did that on purpose.)

I added a sun to the top left corner, because all of the drawings I made as a child had one of those. I didn't color very dark as a child so the fact that this sun isn't very bright is fitting.

We had a power outage and I decided to work on this quilt by candlelight. I did not get a chance to audition the fabric, but I kept telling myself "You have a red tree. Does it really matter what color this is?" The eyes are big because I didn't dare to make them any smaller. There is no way I would have found them if I dropped them. I like how the baby bird looks like it is about to fly. Maybe it is a flying lesson. Or animatedly telling Mama what happened at school.

I added the grass, and teased it  so it would fray.  I had to add a doggie. It doesn't look like Zeus, but it does look like a dog. I put him on top of the grass, because that is what I would have done in kindergarten.  This dog is so light, he walks on blades of grass.

I used some tulle to cover the quilt before quilting.  The gluestick was old and the glue is washable and I wanted to make sure everything stayed properly in place. I was worried that the glue might stick to the needle and make it difficult to quilt, but it didn't. The tulle makes the blue look like denim from a distance.

 I made cloud-like scribbles in the tree as I would as a child. I also added diagonal lines across the background to represent the rays of the sun.  Let's see, I have apples, birds and a dog on the quilt. A, B, D.  It seemed like I needed something that started with the letter C. I thought "color" might be too obscure.  I didn't want car or cat, so I had to look in the dictionary for other C words.  I added a clover.  While I had the embroidery thread out, I added other little bits around the quilt too, which you can see in the pictures throughout this post.

And in case that doesn't look like clover, or think shamrock instead of clover, I added a little carving in the tree.

Here's the finished quilt. I used the same apple green fabric for a wide binding. I wound up having a seam in the bottom left corner, making it bulky, but I think it is okay.

Here it is with its parent.The grandparent quilt had to be sent to the nursing home because there wasn't enough room for it.  This quilt was a lot of fun to make from start to finish.

Linked to:
ScrapHappy Saturday

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Red and White Presents

Since I had such a good time quilting my last quilt, I decided to go on and quilt another one. Here's my finished red and white presents quilt. The lighting isn't good in the fall/winter, but at least you can tell that it is finished.

Unfortunately this one was not fun to quilt.  I used free motion quilting, and my biggest mistake was not planning a continuous line.  I knew I wanted to do loops in the inside squares, and a bigger loop in the long rectangles, but my plan for the remaining sashing involved traveling back along existing lines, and there really wasn't a good flow from one space to the next. 

(I obviously wasn't trying to match points on this quilt. The center square is half an inch finished.) 

There were other issues too. I kept running out of bobbin.  There is some kind of problem with the machine, and the bobbin fills only about half way.  I have a separate bobbin winder and my two broken machines upstairs have bobbin winders that work just fine, so I don't have any excuse for not using one of those, but I didn't think a small quilt like this would need that kind of effort.  Then I ran out of spool thread too.

I also had other interruptions - some perfectly normal family type stuff, and some bots who are worried about the interest rates on my credit cards.  When I was working on the tile quilt, after an interruption, I would come back and say "now where was I?" and resume quilting. With this quilt, the interruption would lead me to say "let me turn this machine off and do . . . " something else. 

These interruption meant I wasn't able to establish a good rhythm flow to the quilting, and the path changed from one session to the next. I don't think any of that is obvious in the finished quilt though.

Here it is, a second generation quilt next to its parent.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


I received this bundle of fat quarters from Quiltmaker!  Thank you so much!  So many ideas are swirling in my head on what to make with these.

I had promised myself that the next new quilt I make will use up scraps, and even though these are not scraps, I may have to add some of these to keep myself from starting a new quilt with this bundle alone.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Tile Quilt

I was thinking about what to gift my sister for her birthday when I remembered that I had gifted her the tile quilt top last year, but hadn't finished it!  Oops, time for some emergency quilting!

I had been thinking about quilting in the ditch to make the squares look more like tiles, but thought that slightly beside the ditch would be better to look like the grout. I had originally thought to stitch on both sides of the seams, but these squares are fairly small, and there are a lot of them. I'm not really sure that they would be necessary since the seam itself is one side of the grout and the quilting could be the other side. I used a slightly darker thread so the grout lines would show.

Another option, which I obviously discarded is to quilt motifs on the quilt, to take full advantage of the fact that it is a quilt and not tiles.  I really couldn't think of a motif or set of motifs to add.

I had a dream that I quilted all sorts of motifs on the quilt, like graffiti. I pictured some graffiti on an American flag that I must have seen in the 80s or thereabouts  I had already started quilting and there is  no way I could think of enough motifs to add to do that, but this dream did really help me relax in quilting this. "She's just lucky I'm not graffiting all over the quilt."

 The quilting is about an eighth of an inch away from the seam, which is not a normal width in quilting.  Every time my mind wandered to thinking about something else, like "is the path clear?", "do I need to remove more safety pins?", "is the quilt flat on the table and not dragging?", I would subconsciously switch to either quilting in the ditch or a quarter of an inch away, and I would have to veer back to the right space, sometimes over-correcting and needing yet another adjustment.  I think I did this often enough to make it look like the variation was normal and expected.  This picture above this paragraph has the truest colors, and you can see the tile-like design in the cream fabric.

The party was at my house so I was busy cleaning and working, and the party was in the evening, so I  didn't get a good picture of the whole thing, but this gives you a general idea.

Islamic Tile Quilt made by Shasta Matova
Apparently I didn't get a good picture of the quilt top either, but here is a picture I showed last time of the whole quilt top.

This quilt was a joy to quilt.  Part of it was my relaxed mood I mentioned above.  But part of it was also the batting. I used a new batting from Joanns that I got on sale this year or last. I usually use Warm and Natural. I think this one was called Soft and Bright or something like that. It is super soft and seems to have less scrim than Warm and Natural. Without actually looking at the labels, I would imagine that this batting would be really good for people who like a lot of quilting in their quilts and yet still want a soft look.  Another part of it was the new Sew Steady table I got shortly after starting quilting on this quilt. I'll review that after I've played with it some more.

While I was binding this quilt, I watched YouTube videos on junk journals, bullet journals and scrapbooks.  I thought about new quilt ideas.  But I've had so much fun quilting this quilt and the last one, that it might be time to quilt something else!

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social

Sunday, October 29, 2017

September Favorite Pictures

Here are my favorite pictures for the month of September.  I've shown you several in my newsy posts, but here are the ones you haven't seen.

I made several trips to a cemetery this month.

One of the only plants that came up from my big batch of expired seeds I threw in this bed. This was after a rain. If you look carefully, you can see the water droplets.

The end of summer means a lot of the flowers are gone. I like the spikes this one left.

But there is still beauty left in what remains.

 This flower has had a life well lived.

The space by the sewing macine is Zeus's nap spot, not a design floor. Any fabric on the floor becomes his bedding. The bag on the top right has fabric for new curtains for the bedrooms.

This one was also taken at the cemetery. By the time I looked up and decided to take a picture of the plane, it was right above me.

I was planning on showing you my September favorite pictures earlier this month, but didn't get around to it. I figure better now than never. Let's see how long it takes to show you the October pictures.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Generations of Red and White Quilts

While I was sewing the binding of the Red Snowflake quilt I showed you last week, I watched some You Tube videos of Mill House Creeks.  She was talking about Generation Scrap Quilts.  The concept is to take the leftover fabric of a quilt you made (first generation), and use it to make another quilt (second generation). She even made a third generation quilt.

Being interested in genealogy, I liked the idea of a generation quilt, although I'm not sure I agree with the rule of not adding additional fabric. After all, the next generation gets married, so there is fresh fabric in the mix.  This was my idea all along with this fabric, and I had already planned other quilts with the leftover fabric.

The first generation was the Red Snowflake I showed you last week.  I didn't realize there was the red row that had all the same fabrics (more red than white), but I am going to leave it that way.  Picture a dark ribbon over a present filled with little presents.

This is a second generation quilt which uses the same background and the same bandana fabric as the Red Snowflake.  There are two other reds that join the mix.

I decided I had made enough presents and decided to use these leftover blocks for a different quilt.  That probably makes these blocks a third generation.

I took the leftover scraps and glued them down in this fashion.  I'm not sure it looks like a tree. Maybe if I take the branch on the right off, it will look less like a flower.  Will see if I can add it to the trunk to make it look more like a trunk. Is this the fourth generation, since the third generation blocks aren't done? I did finally throw away the rest of the scraps, so there is not likely to be a fifth generation.

Edited to add:  Oh wait, I forgot about some other scraps, so yes there will be a fifth generation. Most definitely.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Genealogy Fun: My Obituary

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posts a challenge every Saturday. It is a prompt to write about something genealogy related. I usually ignore these challenges, since this blog is more about quilting and not about genealogy.  But this week, his challenge was to use a newspaper clipping generator and write an article.  I thought it would be fun to make up a tongue-in-cheek obituary.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Red Snowflake - Seven Day Mystery Quilt Reveal

As a part of Finish Fest, I have finished the Seven Day Mystery Quilt, which currently has the creative name Red Snowflake.

I enjoyed every part of making this quilt, even parts that might have been frustrating in the past.  The fabric selection was quick and easy - pick a fabric and a background.  Making the blocks was enjoyable.  Maximum of four easy blocks, with easy directions.  Putting them together was easy and fun, solving a mystery made it more interesting.  The straight line quilting with all its turns was still fun, because I was highlighting the snowflake and looking forward to the free  motion afterwards.  The free motion quilting also moved along easily. I used a generic darning foot and it worked wonderfully. I think I will be using more generic feet with this machine.  The brand name ones are crazy expensive.

Thank you Rose of Threadbare Creations, for this great mystery and pattern.

Presenting it is the hardest part. Besides the fact that it is dark and rainy outside, Blogger didn't want to accept my photos.

Future historians aren't going to know how to take this quilt. Of course they will be looking over and analyzing my work. Some of them will say, "no Shasta didn't make this; she tends to add things to simple modern quilts to make them less modern." Others will say, "yes she did make it.  See this lump? This was made before she learned how to make proper bindings."

This quilt is versatile. It fits right at home with my other modern quilts.

It fits with the Christmas quilts. 

And it fits with the red and white quilts.  I remember saying of my last small quilt finish that it was the biggest small quilt I had made. I don't remember which one that was so I can't compare, but I think this one is bigger. It crowds out the other quilts so there is no danger of it having a permanent place on the bulletin board.

I looked it up. It was the Irish chain.  I'm sure it would look good with that too!

It looks good with the Valentine's Day quilt.

Linked to:

 Scraphappy Saturday. Even though it is red and white, it looks pink from a distance, and has a pink backing.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Finish Fest

It's October already, and the goal for this week is to finish things.  Look at the to-do list on the calendar and put a check mark besides as many things as possible.  I must resist the temptation to add new things to the list as I check off old ones.

Wash dishes, check.
Replace burnt out light bulbs, check.

I have to admit I added those two things just so I could check them off!

I am not going to bore you with the household items on the list, but the list does include sandwiching some quilts, quilting some quilts, and binding some quilts.  Yes, each of these steps is listed for each of the quilts, so I can get lots of checkmarks! Just sandwiching quilts will be a big accomplishment in getting them ready for the next phase, and will result in less work for me to do in the future.

The sandwiching of the seven day mystery quilt is done, and quilting has commenced.  I have finished the walking foot portion - outlining all of the points, and will do some free motion work in the background areas. This is similar to what Anne Ida did. It would  have been easier to do everything by free motion, but I still get nervous with starting free motion quilting, so having a small area to do that way makes me feel better. The pink backing fabric was a leftover when I used it as a backing fabric for another quilt, and was just the right size for this quilt.

Waiting in the wings are the present boxes (front) and the Adinkra (back) quilts.  I have made enough blocks for the present boxes to make a quilt, and am deciding whether to make more blocks for a bigger quilt. I'm not sure that more will make it any better. I have leftover starters which might wind up being a separate, possibly simpler, red and white quilt.

Linked to:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. I don't have a design wall, but my current quilt doesn't need one, being under the needle.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

August Favorite Pictures

It is close to the end of the month, I thought I would show you the top 10 pictures of last month before I am officially late.  There were a lot of pictures I liked for August.  I will show you September's best pictures next month.

Two types of sedum in my yard.

 Wildflowers at the park.

Wildflowers at the park.

Field of wildflowers at the park.

This little bug came to see what we were having for lunch.

My darling Zeus.

I usually pull out the vines that grow near the air conditioner, but this passionflower is white and so pretty. The bugs approve. The passion-fruit has ripened in time to be eaten this year. Yum!

Evening walk downtown. There was a food truck festival. It was so popular that many of the food trucks ran out of food.

I like the way these leaves look like a merry go round.

Darby Creek.