Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year In Review

It's the end of the year, and I am excited to give you a recap of the posts I made and the quilts I finished this year.


I announced the word of the year in January - Transform.  The goal was to transform your life, be bold, dream big, embrace the journey.  I have to say I was very successful in this goal, more so than I imagined I would be able to.   I became more confident, really enjoyed the quilting, and finished quite a few quilts this year.

I made five circle blocks for the Circle 365 project, and prepped some blocks for the Adinkra quilt. And I worked on binding the Daisy quilt - now known as The Earth Laughs in Flowers.


In February, I made a couple of little things - a rice bag and a kitchen towel, and a Glitter block. Poor lonesome Glitter block. I will make more someday.   I finished making the Adinkra top and added the inner borders.

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In February, I also revealed The Earth Laughs in Flowers. I made my first ever Smilebox video to show it off.


I had surgery in early March, so I switched to handwork during my recovery. I made lots of Life of Plenty Blocks.


In April, I made 12 Circle blocks, and added them to the quilt top.

I also finished the top for Life of Plenty.


It was a busy time at work in May and didn't have time for much quilting.  I did share some springtime photographs.


I shared more photographs in June, and quilted a new wholecloth quilt, Button Season.


In July, I shared the finished Button Season. I also showed you some prepped 1857 blocks and one circle block.


In August, I started and finished Family Flower.  The leaves have the names of family members embroidered on them. I chose and added a border fabric for the Adinkra quilt. I won a Wingman Mini Laser-Cut Kit, and I showed you some summer photographs.


In September, I shared more photographs. I finished painting and staining my porch, got a new refrigerator, and made several visits to a local cemetery to take photographs. I joined a 7 day mystery quilt sewalong, chose a backing for the Adinkra quilt, and started the Red and White Presents quilt.


In October, I held a Finish Fest to motivate myself to get lots of work done before the second busy time at work, but the Finish Fest lasted pretty much the rest of the month. 

Besides chores and such, I finished the mystery quilt. I started the Red and White Tree quilt and shared some late summer photographs.

I also finished the Tile Quilt.


In November, I won a fat quarter bundle of fabric from Quiltmaker.

I finished the Red and White Presents quilt and the Apple Tree quilt. I made nine circle blocks and bought and reviewed the Sew Steady Table. I also started the Ringo Lake mystery quilt and the Equilateral Triangles quilt.



I spent a lot of time this year talking about the Adinkra quilt. "Look I found a fabric to use!", "I changed my mind; I am going to use this fabric instead!"  Thank you for your patience with this quilt this year. I was hoping to finish it before the end of the year, but I got sidetracked with the journal/scrapbook.  I just have one border left to quilt and the binding to finish this quilt. It will be nice to have a quick finish at the start of the year.

My last finish of December is a genealogy scrapbook. It was a lot of fun to combine my quilting and genealogy hobbies, and venture into the world of paper crafting.

Linked to:
My Best of 2017

My top five are:
  • The Earth Laughs in Flowers
  • Snowflake Mystery
  • Apple Tree
  • Adinkra
  • Genealogy scrapbook

I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with plenty of time for crafting.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Genealogy Scrapbook

[warning - picture laden post]

As you know, I have been pursuing both my genealogy and quilting hobbies this year. I made a couple of calendars which family pictures on them, and I made a small quilt with family names on them. I've also been watching a lot of videos on how to make scrapbooks, junk journals, etc.

This week, I made a book to help interest family members in their genealogy.  I'm not sure of the proper terminology for this format, but I decided to just make something that suited my needs and let someone else decide what category to put it in!

I was thinking about making a book for each of the 16 greats-great grandparents. There used to be something in genealogy about reaching that generation.  But I got smart and thought if I came down a generation, focusing on the great-grandparents, and made a book for each couple instead of each individual, I would only have four books to make! Plus I would be able to find more facts for this generation due to record availability.  Four seems much more manageable.

I wanted to make pockets that would help them discover facts one at a time, to duplicate the joy of uncovering mysteries that genealogists get when they find records one at a time.  It was a lot of fun to make, and I think I will be making more. Some pages were more successful than others.

Front cover. The cover is basically a quilt sandwich. I used scraps of fabric, some beaded ribbon, and a decorative flower. The wooden butterfly on the ribbon can serve as a decoration or a bookmark.  The strip of fabric sewn behind the lace on the binding to keep it secure. It is tied down to keep the book in a manageable shape and secure the items in the pockets.

This is the binding. I think this burlap and lace ribbon works really well as a binding. This book is about this couple, and I was able to write the names on it for easy reference.

The pages are made out of scrapbook paper. I just folded the 12x12 scrapbook paper into half. There are three sheets of scrapbook paper folded in half in each signature, and there are three signatures. I sewed around them to make pockets before sewing the signatures to the book. Half the pages have a pocket at the top and half have a pocket at the side. There are a couple of pages that don't have any pockets.

I stuffed the pockets full of every document I could find about the couple - census records, city directory listings, marriage and death records, headstone photographs, cemetery records, obituaries, etc. There are also some tags with historical facts and quotations on them.  Each of the pocket has 2-6 things in it, based on the timing and importance of the documents, all in chronological order. 

To save you loading time, I won't show you all the pages, but here are the highlights.  I decided not to write too much in the book itself, and let the documents speak for themselves.  I wrote some things on the documents themselves to help direct the viewer on where to look (arrows where the names are mentioned, highlighting the top of the record showing the location or name of record, etc).

The first couple of pages start the viewer off on their journey.  I don't know much about this couple besides the vital statistics facts, so I started with the birth. If I had known an exciting fact about them, I might have started off with that.

In the picture above, the left side is the inside cover.  The black 67 is a tag in the doily. Behind it are a few facts about things that happened in the year 1867, the birth year of our subject, William. I was initially thinking about making half pages for their life before they became a couple, but since the pages are fairly small, and  I didn't know how many pages would be devoted to that period of time until after I filled in the pockets with documents, I decided to just keep it simple for my first book.

The next page is the birth of the other subject of our book, Millie.  The other side of the doily holds the tag labeled 69, to provide facts about things that happened in the year 1869, Millie's birth year. The tag is covering up her siblings who were there to welcome her. This first page doesn't have a pocket because I had to cut apart the scrapbook paper to keep both pages facing up because it is directional and I didn't want things to be upside down.

The clothespin holds a note card in which the reader can write down the different ways her name is spelled. I just thought it would make it more interactive that way, and the result would be interesting. (I used a pen to hold down the pages so I could photograph them.)

I also added some pockets on the pages themselves. The tag on the left lists the births and deaths of the Millie's siblings since her own birth, but before her marriage. I wanted to keep the book about this couple, but the siblings births and deaths would have affected Millie, so I wanted to make sure to include the facts.

The envelope is a fold down advertisement, which I covered up with scrapbook paper. It has facts about the names William and Millie. I wanted some facts to be simple and not as "heavy" factually to give some breathing space to rest the brain, and to interest people who are not genealogically inclined.

I also tried to make the pages interesting.  I printed and included a lot of maps, seals of the state, and other decorative elements.  I put some washi tape near each of the openings of the pockets to help reinforce them for use. I also added stickers, stamped some images, and pasted some printouts from things I found on the web. 

After I did that, I included quotations about family or life.   In this picture, the left side is a doily I colored with some markers, and the center is a fabric scrap from the fat quarter I got from Butterfly Threads I showed yesterday.

This pocket on the left has three tags, one to represent each of their three children. The right side quote "Savor your journey" is a clipping from a Weight Watcher's magazine! I found three quotes I could use in that magazine.

Here's another one of those quotes, "Life is a gift; celebrate every moment."  That leaf on the left side is a cheap tablecloth with a flannel backing. I was cutting up a piece to make a placemat for Zeus's food bowl, and had plenty of leftovers to put in here.

The page before this one was a thicker piece of scrapbook paper (in the third signature), and it was also directional, so I did not double it to make it a pocket. That made it a perfect place to divide the book into two sections. The section before was the journey, one fact at a time.  Behind if there is only these pocket pages, and I used it to provide a summary of each of their lives. It just has the "life story" printout from Ancestry.

The right side is the other side of that dividing scrapbook paper.  I included some concluding family quotations on these two pages  The one on the right has a flap, under which I wrote my name and date.

This is the inside back cover.  I decided to leave the paper blank in case I could add new things I could find, particularly photographs. It feels like something important belongs here. There is plenty of room in the book for more embellishments too. 

 This is the outside back cover. More fabric scraps.

And here's the front cover when it is not tied. I am really happy with this book.  I'm not sure how much more interesting it makes genealogy, but it was a lot of fun to make.

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social

Friday, December 29, 2017

Fabric Acquisition

I won a magazine from Butterfly Threads, and inside the package was three beautiful fat quarters. Also was a a flyer and business card about Scrap Quilt secrets, a book by Diane Knott.

I've already cut into the cream fat quarter for a project I will show you tomorrow.  Thank you Diane! What a wonderful package to receive in the mail.

My other acquisition was these pieces of gorgeous fabric my sister got for me.  I really like that they are coordinated so they can be used in the same quilt, but don't match too much that they appear matchy-matchy. They are African fabrics, but They say Dutch Wax and Flora Holland on them. It took me a while but I finally found a post that explained why. Thank you, Sis!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ringo Lake Mystery

I've joined many other quilters to make the On Ringo Lake Mystery quilt with Bonnie Hunter.  Four steps have been released, and here's my progress so far.

The first step were simple nine patches.  I didn't get a lot of variety in the fabrics, since I am making about a fourth of the blocks, and almost wished to make more. I decided to wait to see how the other blocks went.

I've been watching Broadchurch on Netflix, and sunrises and sunsets in my own neighborhood. 

 I really like the colors - the blues, the peaches, the grays, the whites, and the dark browns.

I normally don't like making the same quilt as others and in the same colors, but in this case, it is hard to make a change. And yes, I know my bright colors don't really look like this.

This step involved making these diamond shaped things. Although it involved marking, they came together pretty easily.

And it came with these bonus HSTs.  They are tiny, and the dog ears are almost as big as the block! I'm not sure I will keep doing these, as they do take a lot of extra time to mark, sew and press. Maybe I will do some raw edge applique with more bonus triangles, if there are any.

I guess I have to talk about the flying geese.  Sigh.  I decided to do the No Waste Method, making four at a time. Let's see how many mistakes I can make with one block. I cut them wrong, so that the tips are coral/peach instead of the center. I used the same square for all the centers, so all the backgrounds are the same. I would consider this a design choice and a way to make my quilt different from the others. But I don't think so. They don't seem to have the right amount of seam allowance, so no sharp points. And they turned out not to be the right size. They weren't even fun to make.

Let's move on, shall we.  This step was fun. It had triangles, but no marking was required and they went together easily.Here's another way to make these blocks.

Here they all are in a box. I don't want to count them. Counting ruins my motivation when the numbers get so large.

Linked to:
Silly Mama Quilts wip linkup

Friday, December 15, 2017

2018 Planning Party

It's time already to make plans for 2018!

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a Planning Party with lots of fun and prizes, and I figure I may as well play along.  It might mean an extra one or two quilts get made if I make plans and have goals.

 2018 Planning Party

Let's see. What are my plans for my year?

1. Finish things.  I have many quilts that have been started, and have fallen farther back in the queue as I keep starting new things.  I want to move the quilt along a little bit and make it 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.  Since quilting has become easier with the quilting table, I think this goal will be more reachable than it has been in the past.

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. I think it needs to be done before the more sentimental things like pictures, and I want it done before the out of the way areas like the basement and garage. I have trouble doing this area because I keep wanting to work on projects, but I think that if I dedicate some time to doing both, I may be able to get through it.

Quilting Adinkra

I've been quiet lately because I have been quilting the Adinkra quilt.  I've cut some pieces for Ringo Lake mystery, but I wanted to make progress on the Adinkra quilt while the machine was set up for quilting it.

Quilting is always scary for me, especially if I like the quilt top, because I am afraid I will ruin it with the quilting. I could have mechanical problems with thread tension or needles breaking, or I could make bad choices of quilting design and thread.

 In this case, I forgot to change the thread to a lighter one, so it was even more scary.

I chose to echo quilt around the applique and choose a different design for each row of economy blocks. After seeing some information about some doodle quilting, I decided that the echo would not be perfect echos, but a doodle that somewhat resembles echo quilting. This makes the quilting easier and more fun, since the rules are very relaxed, but even more scary since there is a greater chance that I could "ruin" the quilt with the quilting.

After a few scary "what did you do?" moments, I decided to push through, and now this is growing on me. I like the boldness, the exuberance and joyfulness, the variety and the disregard to the rules of precision. I think that if I had to be represented by one of my quilts, this is the one I would chose.

Linked to:
Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday 
ScrapHappy Finishing Fiesta - it isn't finished yet, but I am enjoying finishing it!
Moving It Forward - it still looks pretty much the same, but I've moved on to the borders now!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

November Photo Favorites in Two Collages

Once a month, I look over the photos I took the previous month and share my favorites. It gives me a reason to photograph as often as I do.  For the month of November, I had a lot of favorites, so I made two collages out of them. Both of them have the leaves theme. The first one is leaves on the ground.

I cheated a little and swapped one photo out of each collage because I liked the colors better this way. I just love how Zeus's tail looks just like the grass.

I liked the blue water with the other blue in this collage.  I double cheated on this one, because I don't normally include my quilt photos in my photo favorites, but the blue and the red fits so well with this collage that I just had to add it.