Wednesday, January 31, 2018

When I Was Normal

Back when I was normal, I didn't have any trouble throwing away fabric trash. Anything that was less than three quarters of an inch was not worth saving, since all the fabric would be hidden in the seam allowance and you wouldn't be able to see it. It would just result in a bulky seam and no benefit. Selvedges are bad for quilts so they get thrown away. Those crooked little pieces you get when straightening out the fabric for the first cut. Clearly that is all trash.

 But then I started the circle quilt and needed a tiny scrap to make a circle, and decided it was better to use one that was from a cutting of a project I was already working on.  I started saving these in this tiny bowl that is smaller than a cereal bowl so I wouldn't have to dig through the trash for these cuttings. Once that bowl gets full, it is time to use it or lose it.

Since I have been working on cleaning the sewing room, I have noticed how many fabric scrap boxes I have (4! Definitely time to start a truly scrap project!).  I convinced myself that it was time to throw away the cuttings since there was plenty of other perfectly good, reasonable, fabric available in the house.

I decided to throw away my cuttings from my bowl.   But first I settled down to sew down the rest of the binding of the Adinkra quilt. And watch some YouTube videos. These came up on their own. I swear I didn't choose them.

So this one says to take the cuttings and make a ribbon out of snippets. In this video, she takes a base and sews some snippets on it. I've sen others that add a lot more stuff, and others who sew snippets together to make the fabric instead of adding to a base. This one was my favorite since it was simple.

People have made and traded snippet rolls, and many of them are chock full of laces and embellishments.  These newly made ribbons can be used for wrapping presents, embellishing art quilts or art journals or just hang for decoration.  You can also take them apart and use parts you like into other projects.

There are some patterns for a snippet quilt online too. Some of them call for sewing in snippets while others call for raw edge applique.

And this one says you can use your snippets to make a binding. Who knew!?

So yesterday I made a snippet ribbon. I tea dyed the base fabric and added some snippets, blues and greens mostly to keep it coherent. I also added some other embellishments like ribbons so it doesn't look trashy.  I think I need to sew down some of the dimensional pieces and add more stamping. It is hard to show since it is long and the lighting is bad, but it was fun to make. I think I can throw away the contents of my trash bowl and start again with new trash.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Quilt Reveal: Adinkra

My latest finish is Adinkra.

I took it outside to photograph since the sun is shining, but the pictures still came out dark and I had to correct them with the photo editor.  They are pretty close though.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt. It was fun to make the blocks once a month. The blocks were easy to applique and the anticipation for the next block was fun.

The economy blocks had a problem with the size, but that made it easier because the sharp points were guaranteed.

As you can see in the picture above, even the join I had to make in the border worked well. The top of the head seamed nicely with the body on the next piece.

The doodle quilting was freeing and went on smoothly.  The fabric is busy enough that the flaws, if any, are easy to ignore.

Even the binding went on well, with four sharp miters in the corners.

Quilt stats:
size:  44" x 44".
pattern: 2016 BOM by Debby Kravotil. Thank you so much Debby!
fabric: variety of African fabrics, most of which are metallic
quilting: free motion echo stitching around motifs, doodle stitching throughout border and remaining blocks
what I learned:
  • Expanding the definition of what "matches". This quilt has lots of combinations I wouldn't have thought to use together, but my limited selection of fabrics made me stretch, and I think the result is fabulous.
  • I really enjoy combining applique with piecing. The applique and the quilting were my favorite parts.
  • When I first learned about free motion quilting, I thought it looked like doodling on fabric, but then I learned rules about not crossing lines, and saw lots of videos about proper quilting designs, and breaking the quilt into sections and choosing a different design for each section and lost the fact that I could truly doodle.  I truly doodled on this quilt and it was exhilarating!

I plan to make up a label that explains all the symbols on the quilt.

Linked to:
WIP Linkup at Silly Mama Quilts

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Recap

The month is coming to  a close, and I am trying to finish up things so I can have a good report for my One Monthly Goal.  To do that, I have been binding the Adinkra quilt.  It takes me a good four or five days to bind a quilt, so I am always amazed when other people finish it in one day.  I guess I am slow because I have to check each stitch to make sure the needle isn't going through the front of the quilt.

I have been keeping track of how many days I quilt at least 15 minutes a day.  Here's my recap for this week.

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  28 out of 28
Days with stitching this year:  28 out of 28
Success Rate:  100%

Woo hoo! And this week, I made sure I didn't have any stretching of any rules. I truly stitched at least 15 minutes every day this week, and usually quite a bit more.  I have also been trying to spend a few minutes a day cleaning my sewing room.  It is difficult because there is so much temptation to start new projects or work on other existing projects.  Having been very productive this week, I think I was way too ambitious with my quarterly goals. I guess they were meant to be far reaching.
15 Minutes to Stitch at Life in Pieces
Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts<>

>P.S. Marti showed her progress with such a pretty picture so I made my own. Thanks for the idea Marti!

I didn't use an app though, just an Excel spreadsheet. I decided to keep the data about the days of the week I worked so that I can see if some days are better sewing days than others. I know weekends will be better, but I was surprised that I missed a Thursday.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Circles, Etc.

Here is more progress on my Circle 365 Project. The goal is to make one circle block a day, but I tend to make them in bunches.


Block 216

The plan was to have some quarter circles surrounding the center circle, but the corners showed up.


Block 217

I've made this type of quarter circle blocks before with the pieced backing, but the other one was pieced and this one is raw edge applique.  I don't know if I have another one like this with the raw edge but I'm not going to be looking for it. I'm sure it is made with different fabrics. And this one has stripes going two different ways.


Block 218

This one was going to be rows of circles but I decided to make a circle of circles.  I guess it is in the eye of the beholder whether these are rows or a circle.


Block 219


A circle pie. I needed to remove a quarter circle to get spaces between the pieces.


Block 220


This is leftovers from block 218. Pieced backing.


 Block 221


This is the remaining quarter circle from Block 219 with other bits. The dark green makes me think of a mushroom.


 Block ?


This block doesn't have a number yet because it doesn't have a backing.  I decided to make an asterisk circle, and thought I should make it big and then trim it down to size. The asterisk is quarter inch finished, and I wasn't about to make it any skinnier than that. I could trim it down smaller, I suppose, but it is going to wind up being one of the bigger circles, and therefore getting four numbers.

Putting it Together

Left side. I figured you would be asking about the blocks above the circle. I put together the blocks that had not been put together yet and came up with three rows. I decided not to piece them to the top rows to keep the top rows from being too stressed. I think that if I keep piecing each row to the top one row at a time, that top row is going to keep getting picked up too often. I figure if I piece them in three sets, I can then put them together afterwards.

You may be able to recognize the two blocks in the first row as recent blocks. I decided to put this row of recent blocks on top instead of the bottom because I think it looks better there.  There is a big block right above this big block and I wanted to separate out the big blocks with at least one row.

Middle Left

Middle Right.

Right side.

And in case you were wondering if those little white specks were flaws on your screen, no, it is not your screen. The sky has a little dandruff problem today.

Linked to:

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Whole Lot of Stitching Going On

I was so busy stitching, that I didn't have time to update my progress!

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  21 out of 21
Days with stitching this year:  21 out of 21
Success rate:  100% 

On Thursday, I wasn't in the mood for stitching, but since I stitched more than 30 minutes every other day, I am going to go ahead and give myself credit for Thursday.  Actually, I was in the mood for stitching - I wanted to start a new crazy quilt, but since I already have two crazy quilt UFOs, I decided that I should probably get bonus points for not starting a new quilt on Thursday. 

I did start a couple of new quilts yesterday though.  I joined a quilt swap, and decided to make two similar quilts. Sometimes it is difficult to give away something if it is successful. And if it isn't successful, having two will give me a way to have a backup, which hopefully is more successful.

The eye candy picture shows the progress on the binding of the Adinkra quilt.  I was handstitching it down while watching Victoria.

Linked to:
Oh Scrap! I made sure you could see the backing on this quilt so you could see I am using blue!
15 Minutes to Stitch

Saturday, January 20, 2018

My Quilt It Has Four Corners, Four Corners Has My Quilt

When I was making the Pointless Puddle, I had the quote from Whose Line is it Anyway? "Where everything's made up and the points don't matter"stuck in my head.

Look! I made four houses!

Now, as I am making progress on Ringo Lake, I have another quote stuck in my head. Way back in elementary school, I learned this song. My hat is has three corners, three corners has my hat. And had it not three corners, it would not be my hat. 

Now it's been adapted to: My quilt it has four corners
 Four corners has my quilt
And had it not four corners, it would not be my quilt.

It's almost a complete quilt! It just needs a set of sashing and some corner blocks!

Just kidding.  I've decided that I am going to make the quilt the same size as Bonnie's. I was originally trying to decide whether I needed to make it one row smaller to fit my bed.

Each of the blocks have a nine patch in the center.  Taking inventory, I see I have enough nine patch centers for the quilt.  I am just two flying geese short of having all the rows that have the nine patch in them done.  That row is joined with two other rows, like a bigger nine patch.  I have enough of those rows to add one row to each of the center rows.  I need to make more blocks to add the last row.

Having two rows done in each block makes me think I am about 2/3s done, but really it is closer to half since I don't have many sashings done, and haven't joined the blocks yet, and don't have many corner triangles. Okay it may be less than half but that is pretty good progress for this quilt with thousands of pieces in it.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Catching Up on Circles

Today's the 15th so I need 15 circles for the year when making a circle a day, so I figured I would make some more.  No, I'm not procrastinating on working on Ringo Lake, why do you ask?

I don't sew the blocks in any particular order, and I don't present them in any particular order, so there is no way for you to prove that sometimes the next generation is born before the parents.

Block 208

Another block to commemorate Ringo Lake. I got this idea for the layout from the internet.


Block 209

This uses scraps of fabric from making other circles.


Block 210

This uses scraps of fabric from making other circles. I like this one. I especially like that I didn't have to outline stitch each of these pieces.


Block 211

Is this the simple circle that created so many scraps? I think so, and even after all that, it doesn't look good. Note to self: don't use neutral thread to sew a decorative stitch. Those circles in the stitch are really cute.


Block 212


This is leftovers from block 213.


Block 213

I found these pieces sewn together in the drawer. So I sewed on the triangle that was there and made a circle out of them! I think this was planned to be a circle and I had to put it away for a gathering.


Block 214

Self portrait.

Block 215

Reverse self portrait.

Actually I am making progress on Ringo Lake. It just looks like the same progress as any other day, so not blog-post worthy. Keep Sewing. Keep Sewing.

Linked to:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Return of the Circles

One of my monthly goals is to resume the Quilty Circle 365 project. The goal is to make a circle a day, but of course, this project is about not following the rules, so I make them whenever I feel like it.


Block 201

A nice simple circle to start out the session.


Block 202

The reverse of said circle.  The theme of this quilt has become using up what could be trash. This is the wrong side of the backing fabric. I put tucks in the blue square to make it smaller. I like that little point that is pointing to the center.


Block 203

More "trash".  The center is leftover from the border of Pointless Puddle. I manually cut the gear shape on the circle. I have scissors that cut decorative edges, but they don't work on fabric.


Block 204

A Ringo Lake piece, with some extras from the drawer. The orange is probably from Lansing Leaves. These pieces looked like they were already planned to become circles, but I don't remember the planned layout.


Block 205


More Pointless Puddle border. A two color background for a change of pace. That cream is from the tile quilt, and the brown is from Ringo Lake.


Block 206

This one is a leftover from the binding of Adinkra. I included the selvage because I like the words "& pattern" and left the selvedge on the circle in case it wasn't rule breaking enough. I put a little bit of that background fabric in Ringo Lake. Just enough to add interest, since I don't want a lot of added busyness in that quilt.


Block 207

I call this technique "scrunch as you go". I wasn't trying to make a leaf, but I guess that is what it wanted to be. The vein is leftover from straightening out the background fabric for block 206. This is an old fabric that I have used in older projects, so it tickles me to use in Ringo Lake.


15 Minutes to Stitch

Since it is Sunday, I need to check my sewing this week.

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  14 out of 14
Days with stitching this year:  14 out of 14
Success rate:  100% 

I have to admit that I had to stretch the definition of "stitching" on at least one of the days.  Ringo Lake has a lot of pressing, drawing diagonal lines, clipping dog ears, and cutting, so it hasn't always been stitching, but I am counting it anyway, since I made quilting progress every day, and since I am all about rule breaking!

Linked to
Oh Scrap! - the first couple of circles have a greenish blue in them, and there is lots of blue throughout the quilt. And it is definitely made from scraps!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ringo Round the Lake

It snowed here last night, as it did in many parts of the country.  Zeus loves playing in the snow, and going on a treasure hunt for treats. He found a waffle here, which gives a whole new meaning to frozen waffle.

Since I am snowed in, more progress has been happening on the Ringo Lake blocks. I've been adding scraps from the stash for variety, which are leaning a little bit more to the green side of greenish blue and orange side, and a little bit more patterned, but I think they still stay pretty controlled over all.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
― Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Linked to:

UFO Busting

I'm trying hard to keep this from becoming a UFO .

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pointless Puddle

Remember the mistake I made with the flying geese for Ringo Lake? Why am I reminding you of my mistake? Because I joy-i-fied it.

Look what showed up from my sewing machine!

After agreeing to make eleventy million flying geese and other parts and pieces, it was hard to say no to sewing a few seams here and there.  Especially ones that did not require any points to match, and I could just trim everything to size.

Some binding strips? Sure, bring it on.
I cut the big squares for the flying geese a quarter inch too big, which made them too short and too wide, chopping off the points, and the colors were reversed so I couldn't use them for Ringo Lake.  I decided to make something to help motivate me to sew those eleventy million flying geese.  Someone made a smaller quilt and called it Ringo Puddle, and I like the name, so this one is Pointless Puddle. I'm not sure if it will be a pillow or a wall hanging. Right now, I am thinking a wall hanging that can double as a pillow cover.

I mitered the corners by making half square triangles.

Linked to Let's Bee Social #211 at Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP Linkup at Silly Mama Quilts

Sunday, January 7, 2018

15 Minutes to Stitch

Kate has been documenting her stitching goals for a while now, and I always thought I should join her.  It has been my goal to stitch for at least 15 minutes a day for many years. 

I decided this year, I will join her and document my progress. I know that there are times of the year when I don't get any stitching in, and other times when I get more, but it would be interesting to see how many days I do sew.

Days with stitching this week:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this month:  7 out of 7
Days with stitching this year:  7 out of 7
Success rate:  100%

Quilting Goals

Here is a list of projects I would like to work on this quarter for the 2018 Finish Along for the first quarter. It is ambitious but any progress would be good on each of them. I've also separated out January's plans for the One Monthly Goal.

On Ringo Lake

When I added this quilt to the list of quilts I have started, I noticed that I had been really good at finishing the quilts I started in 2017. 100% of the quilts I started in 2017 are either finished or started late in the year and currently in progress. I am going to take the prize before the auditors find any mistakes in the record keeping.

I want to keep up with this accomplishment by getting this quilt finished this year. I hope to get the top made by the end of the quarter.



This quilt has been quilted and needs trimming and binding.

365 Circles

There are plenty of older projects that need attention, and I decided that rather than finding older projects to finish, I might as well work on the ones I worked on in 2017 to get them closer to the finish line. I hope to make many more circles for the circle quilt. I think a circle a day is manageable again, so I hope to make 90 by the end of the quarter.

Life of Plenty

This is another quilt I worked on in 2017. I would like this one bordered, quilted and bound by the end of the quarter.

Finish another UFO top

I hope to get at least one UFO quilted by the end of the quarter, but will choose it when the time comes. I want to allow myself some flexibility. The Droid quilt seems like it might be a good one to finish.

I've linked up to Capitola Quilter where you can see other people's plans for the Finish Along.

January's Goals

For the One Monthly Goal, I would like to finish the Adinkra quilt. It is the closest to the finish and it will be nice to get it done. I do plan on making more progress than just this quilt, but will be happy to have a finish to start off the New Year!