Sunday, August 18, 2019

Changing Thought Patterns

I've been thinking differently lately, as an experiment, or maybe because my mind has melted in the heat..

First of all, when I was making the Fuschia Fairy quilt, I didn't plan it out.  I thought of an idea, implemented it, and waited for the next idea to show up so I could implement it.  I embraced each idea as it came along and did it without thinking about other possibilities.

That is the same way I am quilting the Drunkard's Path quilt. Yes, I am still quilting that monstrosity of a lap quilt.  I think it is possible that I will wind up using a whole spool of light thread and a whole spool of dark thread when I am done. I am having fun, but it is slow progress, waiting for the next idea, and finding the motivation to quilt something warm in the summer.

The other change has been a thought I had about the nature of quilting.  When I think of daily or frequently occurring tasks as compared to projects, I tend of think of quilts as projects.  After all, when I paint a railing, the railing is painted and I won't have do it again, at least for a very long time. When I make a quilt, I wind up with a finished quilt and once it is made, it generally can't get undone.

The change is the shift of quilting from project category to recurring category. Since I enjoy the process of quilting, once a quilt is finished put away, the quilting isn't really done, because I will pick up another quilt to work on. Sure I will celebrate the completion, but I will move on quickly to the next quilt.

 My goals for the summer has to be working on completing projects, so that when the busy time at work happens again, the unfinished projects don't rear their ugly heads at me. I can rest assured that progress does get made when I am not as busy.  This doesn't mean I won't make quilts. After all, the recurring tasks do have to get done. It just means that I can't spend hours quilting, since I really need to be spending that time getting something done that will stay done.

All of this explains why the drunkard's path quilting is not finished, and the charity quilts have barely been started.

The current big project is to go through the bedrooms and touch every single thing to see if it sparks joy, and if it does, to give it a comfortable home. I've already done the downstairs, the master bedroom and the bathroom, so it is turn for the other bedrooms.  I had been debating about which other bedroom to start with, but each one seemed to become a bottleneck for the other, so now I have decided to work on both of them simultaneously as needed, while focusing on the sewing room. There are lots of things in there, and the progress is slow as I want to think through properly what to keep and where to put it, and decision making is tiring.

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 33

These two weeks, as the days and weeks blur together, I have been working on quilting the ethnic drunkard path quilt, and have started my mini of the month and one of the charity quilts (the batik one). I have also been cleaning the sewing room.
15 Minute sessions of stitching this month: 14 out of 14
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 193 out of 230 sessions
Success Rate: 84%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Sunday, August 4, 2019


A couple of my coworkers have been side tracking my quilting efforts.


First was a person who offered to give me the inside scoop of thrift stores in the area. She is really good at finding bargains and let me know of a place that had clothes for 50 cents each, but it was out of town.  She said she would keep a lookout if there was something I wanted. Since I have all the clothes I need right now, if I went to a thrift store, the only clothes I would want would be ones I could cut up for crafts - things with laces and other textiles.

I decided I didn't want to go to the sale, because I have enough projects to keep me busy.  She did manage to find a blouse that was made up of pretty laces that she thought I would like. I met her at a local thrift store to do the exchange. The blouse is gorgeous and has different layers of crocheted lace designs.  We did not find anything we wanted to buy at the store, since the items I wanted were pricey and there was a 50% sale off everything on Wednesday.

I even skipped the Wednesday sale because I have plenty of quilts that I still need to finish. Then on Thursday, I found a blogger who makes gorgeous quilts out of vintage textiles. Of course I can't find the link right now. Her gorgeous quilting really made the quilts.  I regretted going to the sale.

Then I spotted a yard sale on my way to the grocery store and was able to buy textiles at a good price. They are not hand made and I don't know if they count as vintage, but they are pretty textiles. So now, I guess there is a textile quilt in my list. I'm not sure how they feel about me cutting up their things to make a quilt.


printed panels

Another friend invited me to join her at a charity sew in. There is an organization here, Stitching Sisters, who makes quilts for various people in need.

I went there and helped them package up 127 quilts to go to women undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Apparently 127 quilts is how many will fit in the car!  I also picked up some kits of quilts to make so I can help them out from home.

Why did I pick up four instead of just taking one at a time, I have no idea. I couldn't decide and I figured I didn't have to get them all done at one time.

I'm still working on finishing up the drunkard's path quilt so they may have to wait, but if I get one pieced by the next meeting, I can learn how to use their long arm.

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 31

This week, I worked mostly on quilting Ethnic Drunkard's Path. I also packaged up some quilts for Stitching Sisters and went shopping for textiles.
15 Minute sessions of stitching this month: 7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 179 out of 216 sessions
Success Rate: 83%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Quilting Ethnic Drunkard's Path Quilt

After finishing the commission quilt and the mini quilt of the month, I could finally resume the quilting that had slowed almost to a standstill when the busy time at work happened.  I decided to pick up on quilting the drunkard's path quilt. I call it the ethnic drunkard's path quilt, because I already have another drunkard path, and this one has a more exotic feel to it, but I don't know the art in these countries enough to know where exactly to place it - Morocco, Spain, Persia, etc. The other one is really a leftovers of this one, but it is smaller and got finished before this one. That one took forever to quilt too.

I am working on a domestic sewing machine, and apparently working long hours, forgetting to turn on the light!

It is a lap size quilt, which seems to grow in size as I am quilting it; (really, I have how much left to quilt?!), but I am pretty sure it will resume normal proportions when I am done.  Right now, I am quilting the light ring around the center shape. I wanted all the lights to work together so I am quilting them all as a group. The echo quilting really helped add the cohesiveness to the pattern.  It is pretty big area width size so I used these long leaves, but they seemed like long bananas when I looked at them. These curly shapes make me happy.

It isn't perfect quilting, but there is less pressure than there was when I first made the quilt.  I am not as much of a perfectionist anymore, and the fabrics are dated enough now that I can relax a bit. And although I can see lots of mistakes in this picture and I almost wanted to take out this quilting, when I step back and look at the quilt as a whole, the quilting adds texture I want, and I am leaving it, and continuing the same design in similar spaces around the entire center. If you do keep doing it, it isn't a mistake, it is a design choice!

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 30

It is already Wednesday, but I wanted to enjoy bragging about my finishes. So now I can belatedly tell you about my stitching week last week, that ended on Sunday,  After finishing Fuschia Fairy, I have been working solely on quilting the ethnic drunkard path quilt.
15 Minute sessions of stitching this month: 7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 172 out of 209 sessions
Success Rate: 82%

The pictures of the tomatoes and peppers were taken at a park. I hadn't seen those shapes and really like them.

Linked to:
Throwback Thursday  - this quilt top is from before I started this blog. I think it has waited long enough to be quilted.
Wednesday Wait Loss - I am still learning free motion quilting and am learning how to step back and look at the whole picture instead of fretting over every little bobble, of which there are many!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July Mini of the Month Quilt Reveal: Fuschia Fairy

  Can you handle two quilt reveals in a row?

Initially, I was going to skip making a mini quilt this month.  After all, I have a huge backlog of  quilts I started earlier this year (not to mention previous years), and a huge list of quilts I want to start (alphabet quilt, postage stamp, circa 1880).  But I realized that I would feel bad about not making one this month, and I didn't want to rush through making one just to say that I did. I started this quilt last week.

I started looking for ideas of a mini quilt, and realized that I didn't need to look for ideas because I already had plenty of ideas from previous projects. I thought it would be best if I took an orphan block and made a quilt out of that. That way, it isn't technically a new project, and there is some progress in the overall quilt lineup.

I was thinking about pretty fabrics in general and I remembered that I had received a panel a long time ago. So long ago that I think it was before I moved to this blog in 2008. I got it from a blog friend who said something to the effect of "I look forward to seeing what you do with it." Sorry, friend, for making you wait so long.  This panel is just so pretty, and I wanted to do it justice.  Over time, I saved pieces of leftover fabrics that I thought would go well with the quilt. They were my favorite pieces then and they still are! The panel came with three small squares, so I just cut the other scraps to the same size and added them around the quilt.

 I realized I had everything I needed to finish off this panel.  The fabrics I have with the panel were ones I especially liked for one reason or another, and went well with the panel, but they were on the small side, so they didn't lend to themselves to much piecing. Which is good, because I wanted to keep the piecing simple and let the focus stay on the panel.

I added in some other current favorite bits, and made this quilt, like some sweet 30s fabrics and two kinds of lace. I also added embroidery stitches in the form of wavy vines in the borders. If you deliberately make it wavy, it doesn't have to be straight! The picture above shows the truest color.

The darker pictures were taken earlier in the day when the sun was out.  I left them here because they show the texture.

Linked with:
Slow Stitching Sunday I hand stitched the binding, and took the time to add embroidery stitches and lace.
Monday Making 
Friday Foto Fun

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Quilt Reveal: Love and Happiness

I made a commission quilt and have delivered it, so now I can share it with you!

I told you that I was showing my mini book of quilts to everyone in the office who might be willing to look at it and my friend and coworker asked me to make her one. I bet you can figure out her name!  I normally don't do commission quilts, but she wanted one that I enjoyed making (The Earth Laughs in Flowers), so I said yes.

She then decided that she wanted one that was more customized and fit better with her available funds. I thought it was a little easier than the one she originally wanted, so it would be a little bit less time consuming. It has some repeat blocks, but not too many.

I wasn't keeping track of my time since I was charging her a flat price, but it took me a lot longer to make than I estimated. This quilt was fun to make, because it has the bright happy fabrics that I enjoy working with, and there is a variety of blocks that keep it from getting boring.

It uses batik and regular cotton fabrics. The blocks are all made with raw edge applique. I used some embroidery stitches around some of the hearts.

 I like the wording on the plaque to go with this quilt.

My family asked me if I wanted to go for a walk in this park. I had already been there earlier that day to deliver the quilt (I didn't get Debi's message that she wanted to postpone).  I came with the quilt and roped them into being the quilt holders and turned their innocent walk into a photo shoot.

Linked to:
UFO Busting
Off the Wall Friday 
Finished (or not) Friday

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

15 Minutes to Stitch

A little belated recap of my stitching week.

15 Minutes to Stitch: Week 29

For the last couple of weeks ending Sunday, I started and have been working on my mini quilt of the month. I thought about not making one this month, due to all the quilts I have already started this year and still want to start now, but I decided it was better for me to start while it was early enough to make a good showing, instead of starting it at the last minute to get it in by the end of the month.  I am putting in the final finishing touches on the quilting and have the binding ready to go so the quilt reveal will be soon.

I started with a panel I got a long time ago called Fuschia Fairy and built a small quilt around it.
15 Minute sessions of stitching this month: 14 out of 14
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 165 out of 202 sessions
Success Rate: 81%

I must have made some sort of mistake in the number of sessions in the year, so I just fixed that to reflect the number of calendar days in the year so far. Hopefully the other numbers are accurate, but it is just an estimate so I am not going to try to go back and figure out where I went wrong.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Friday, July 19, 2019

Batch of Index Card a Day Cards

Here's another batch of cards I made for Index Card a Day (ICAD). This time, I tried thinking of words to add - some came from advertisements, while others came from art journaling tutorials I watched.

Even though I think I have 60 cards now, I plan to continue making these.