Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sweet Land of Liberty Progress

I am very late in starting this quilt, which is a quilt-along with Lori Humble Quilts. She broke out the pattern into months, and I started on the last month so I could at least keep up with the group for the month. They are in their last month and I am in the first.

I have made almost all of the last month's blocks and a couple of other blocks. I just put them on the table - this is not the final layout.

The flag bird appliqued leaves has run off with the star from the moose bird on star vase. It may be a scandal, but I do know that fabric morals are different from people morals, so I'm not sure what to make of it.  I didn't want to mention it, but I did notice that circle block 248 had some fabric from the Sweet Land of Liberty as well as the Colonial Bricks quilt, both of which are just babes and hardly old enough to be having offspring, so it does seem suspicious.  I think that is normal and not only acceptable, but actually encouraged here on the High Road, so I don't know if blocks and block pieces running off together are all right, as long as they return on a timely basis.

Do you know what the name of this style of quilt is? I would love to know what to call this type of quilt. A Life of Plenty is similar - with folk art blocks, pieced and applique, a collage of sorts, but I imagine it has a name.

Circle Block 249

This one is a well behaved block, as far as I can tell.  The star fabric did look more blue at night and looks more purple during the day, but with the other scandals going on around here, we will let this go.

Circle Block 250

This one looks innocent, using fabric from Sweet Land of Liberty, but that cream triangle is from A Life of Plenty.

Linked with:
Humble Quilts

Friday, September 28, 2018

Storm Damage

Our electricity was out a couple of days ago.  This happens from time to time so I figured it was a squirrel that got to a wire or some such issue, and the electricity would be back soon.  I managed to get ready and have breakfast without electricity without issue. 

Zeus and I walked around the neighborhood and everything seemed normal.  I checked in with the electric company with my cell phone and it looked like a huge area of my side of town, as well as several other areas in the city were without electricity.

I then got a text to walk further north.  Wow.  Normally, my wandering camera post would have shown summer flowers, but all of my photos for this month were taken a couple of days ago.

At six o'clock in the morning, a big burst of wind went down this neighborhood, knocking down branches and even huge trees. These trees fell on cars, houses, and power lines. There were several blocks that were affected.

House after house had signs of damage. This big tree went across both yards.  There were many trucks in the area cleaning up debris and cutting down the broken branches.  As you can see, a lot of the branches on this tree has already been trimmed.

Here you can see yards and sidewalks filled with branches, and in the back rows of trucks of the people helping with the storm damage.

The storm lasted just a few minutes, maybe five or ten minutes That's a lot of damage in such a short amount of time.

This tree is covering the driveway.

Here's a closeup of the sign by the driveway. I'm pretty sure that is not what they meant by that sign.

Here you can see some downed lines on both sides of the street.

Since I was not prepared for this photo opportunity, my camera ran out of battery. This was the last photo. In front you see a memorial for a child who died at this intersection a few years ago. The memorial is refreshed from time to time.  Behind that is a city truck and behind that is the big power line that was downed and probably the cause of the outage.  Even though this is a main busy street, I'm really surprised they kept this street open for cars to drive on.

When I got back, the power was up, which is amazingly quick due to the amount of damage. The National Weather Service has declared this event to be a tornado.

Linked to:
Wandering Camera

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Throwback Tuesday: Lansing Leaves

Jumping on the bandwagon after everyone has abandoned it, I decided to show you an old post from my many years of blogging.  I chose a random year and a random month. I only wrote one post that month, so it was easy to choose the specific post, July 19, 2014.  In this post, I explained how I made a quilt top while living out of a hotel room for a month. You can read it here, Lansing Leaves Quilt.

Since that post, I added another round of leaves as a border.  I also sewed alternating flying geese for the borders. I wasn't sure if the border fabric matched the center very well and probably had some issue with the size of the rows. You can read the whole story by reading all the Lansing Leaves posts here.

While it is tempting to finish it - either as is, or with the alternating flying geese border, but for now, I am going to keep going with my current quilt, Colonial Cotton Bricks, and at least get the top finished.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Who's The Leader?

I am working on teaching my quilts some to have some self-control and patience.  They have to wait their turn as I randomly throw bits and pieces of several different quilts into the sewing machine to see what turns up.

I've been diligently working on the Sweet Land of Liberty blocks. I am very late in starting this quilt, and would at least like to be timely in getting one month's blocks done in a month. I showed you the two applique blocks already.

This is the next applique block. If it doesn't look like oak leaves to you, what can I say?  I did my best.

This is not the right size, as it should be a square, but I figure I will add or subtract fabric as needed when joining with the rest.

Circle Block 247

This block showed up while I was sewing.  The red fabric is from the new fat quarter pack. I used it to make the churn dash for the applique block.

Circle Block 248

This one started with leftovers from the Colonial Bricks quilt.

I am also making the Colonial Bricks quilt.

Each of the quilts have been patiently taking turns as I decide which piece gets done next.  I choose the order in which the pieces get put into the machine.  It may be a mad frenzy to avoid starting any new quilts.

I am the leader here.

 Either that, or the squirrels are taking over my brain and my head is about to burst soon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Quilt Festival Fall 2018

It's time for a virtual Blogger's Quilt Festival organized by Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side.

To participate, you get to show off one or two of your favorite quilts!  Today, I thank you for visiting, and share with you a quilt I finished early in the year, Adinkra.   It is one of favorite quilts for many reasons.

It started out very slowly, one block a month in 2016. This really helped me during the times of the year I was incredibly busy, as it was easy to make a block (fusible, machine stitched) there was no guilt for not finishing a whole quilt. One block was a finish. The slow pace slowed me down on this quilt, and I took my time making each decision on this quilt without rushing through and accepting the first choice.

I changed the size of the applique blocks, and made a mistake in sizing the economy blocks so I lost the sharp points on the yellow, but that made the quilt turn out even better. I didn't have to fix my "mistake" and I really like how the same yellow fabric in these blocks looks like it is a different color. That open area in the intersections work to prove that it is the same fabric.

I was able to use my precious African fabrics that were waiting for just the right quilt to use. Each of the fabrics worked so nicely together too.

The quilting on the quilt was so incredibly fun. I learned about doodle quilting, and I did exactly that. Instead of making a plan for each area, I just doodled different designs as it came to me.  The thread hides most of the stitching until you take a closer look.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt, and everything tended to work out on this quilt. 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.

Even the binding went on well, with four sharp miters in the corners that look beautifully mitered.

All the pictures, and the rest of this post are from when I introduced it in February. Unfortunately, I haven't made a label for the quilt yet.

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 with:
Friday Photo Fun

Weekly Update

 It's time for my weekly update for my stitching 15 minutes a day. I am happy to report that I spent more than 15 minutes a day every day this week.  I worked on the applique blocks for the Sweet Land of Liberty quiltalong at the beginning of the week. Then knowing that Moda had a Jelly Roll Day on Saturday, I worked on stitching the 2 1/2" strips I bought.  I'm not sure if it is a Jelly Roll (made by Moda) or some other name from some other manufacturer, and I am not honoring a holiday just for one company, as I am hardly ever brand loyal, but I figured it was as good a motivation as any to work on the Colonial bricks quilt.

I really admire people who say "Here's the quilt I made today", since I've been working on the bricks quilt all week, and even though I've made substantial progress, it is nothing like a whole quilt top.  This quilt reminds me of the rail fence quilt I made, as they are both simple and made up of rectangles.  The rail fence quilt is a generous lap quilt and I really like the size, and even though I was planning on making this Bricks quilt small enough to be a baby/toddler quilt, I've decided I want to make it bigger. The fabric in this collection is already looking like a scrap quilt, since some of them don't really match each other without the intermediary fabric, so it won't ruin the mood/style by adding others to the mix.

Stash Update

I hardly ever provide an update for my stash since I don't buy new fabric on a regular basis anymore. I have avoided going to stores that will provide too much temptation. But I did manage to open an email about a clearance sale and bought some backing fabric and the "jelly roll" I am using for the Bricks quilt, and then I won two fabric prizes, so my stash has been thoroughly enhanced this week. I'm sure my neighbors must be thinking I won the lottery, getting packages every day.

Linked to: 15 Minutes to Stitch 
WIPs on Wednesday 
Off the Wall Friday 

Edited to add the stats!

15 Minutes to Stitch

I am late posting my progress for last week, but I definitely sewed all seven days working on the bricks quilt and the Liberty quilt I mentioned in my last post. My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  212 out of 259 sessions
Success rate: 82%

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Scrappy Prize Winner!

I am working on piecing the backing for the Stars Wars quilt, so the top looks like the last time I showed it to you.

I finished my Angel block (for Sweet Land of Liberty) I showed you a couple of posts back. Despite the fact that our angel is hovering under the Death Star, she is clearly holding a flag and not a hatchet. I used the embroidery floss I won from Okan Arts.

Speaking of winning, my luck is running over!  I won a big bunch of scraps from Silly Mama Quilts. Thank you so much, Brooke!  So many beautiful scraps.  There is no debate about how to use these scraps. They simply get picked up and absorbed into current projects.

The next block for Sweet Land of Liberty needed a star applique.  There was no way I was going to actually applique a star this tiny, and was considering embroidering a star, but the scraps said "you wanted a star?" and all of a sudden my angel had a star almost as soon as I opened the package. The blue background was also in the package and perfect for that spot and the sashing for the block.

By the way, I saw that in the past people sometimes used cross-stitch or a running stitch to hold down the applique. I decided for this casual quilt that I don't have to hide my stitches. I am using the same color thread for the applique throughout the quilt. This is a necessary decision that makes it easier to make this quilt in the winter when it is so dark much of the day.

Here's the angel with the star.  I made her neck too long and thought I would give a v-neck to the dress to help shorten the neck.  I made a mistake with the neck in that I made it so low that it didn't shorten the neck, just gave a v-neck, so I had to rip it out and move it up, but now it looked strange since it didn't fit with the shoulders.

I considered removing the v-neck and let her just have a long neck, but I'd already ripped it out once and it seemed like a lot of waste of time. Then I got an email about a ribbon for 9-11, and decided I could add a ribbon around her neck. One of the neat things about making a quilt like this is that it is subject to change from the whims of the day.  I've now added a ribbon to this quilt and don't have to start another project.

It may look like a scarf and not a ribbon, but I think it fits better with the neck.

  Circle Block 246


The other good thing about making an applique quilt and with winning the scraps is that I have an association with making circles with scraps.  The last time I made any circles for my Quilty 365 circles was in February, and here's yet another one. I need to cut out some background squares so that more circles can be easily made when the mood strikes.

Linked to:
Slow Sunday Stitching 
ScrapHappy Saturday 
UFO Busting - the completion date of the circle quilt has definitely expired
Show Off Saturday

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dotty Prize Winner!

I won a prize from the August giveaway at the Okan Arts!  It was a HUGE prize of 20 Fat Quarters from Judie Rothermel’s Scrappier Dots collection, produced by Studio 37 of Marcus Fabrics; and three spools of cotton floss by Aurifil, valued at $71. Thank you so much!

I am so excited! They are so pretty, and I really like dots.  My The Earth Laughs in Flowers quilt was made completely out of dotted fabric. That's why its nickname and working title was Daisy's Chickenpox.

A part of me wants to undo the ribbons and find a pattern make something new right away.  And another part is telling me to be reasonable and keep working on the quilts that are already on the top of the list and not let another quilt cut in line.

And yet another part of me is saying, just use them for the quilt you are already making. The red, white and blue fabrics would fit right in on the Sweet Land of Liberty quilt.  At this point, I haven't cut the ribbon, but I have to admit that I have fondled and admired each of the fabrics and have already started using the floss for the Sweet Land of Liberty. After all,  I had to turn the hatchet from that last post into a flag.

And yet another part of me thinks I could compromise and make a small quilt to really honor the collection and then put the fabrics into future projects as they fit.

Sorry about the stains on the table. It is on my porch and doesn't wash off. I will have to sand it and paint or stain it someday when I am not quilting.

15 Minutes to Stitch

I am late posting my progress for last week, but I definitely sewed all seven days working on the bricks quilt and the Liberty quilt I mentioned in my last post. My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  205 out of 252 sessions
Success rate: 81%

Saturday, September 8, 2018

One Quilt Finished; Two Quilts Started

After I showed you the finished Unassuming Quilt, which somehow wound up being its official name, I knew that I could start a new quilt.  After some deliberation (there are so many quilts I want to make), I decided it would be Sweet Land of Liberty, which is a quilt along that is being hosted by Lori of Humble Quilts. That's a flag, not a hatchet, and has not been sewn down yet. I need to cut a bigger piece to turn the edges under.

That quilt would have been more than enough, because I do want to take my quilting time to finish some of the quilts I have already started.  But there was a sale at Keepsake Quilting and I bought this jelly roll without having a specific plan.  It's called Colonial. When I got it, I liked it even better than the picture, and decided to make a simple baby quilt out of it.

I considered making one of the quilts on my list, but in the end I decided to make it easy and make a simple bricks pattern, alternating lights and darks. It will be a rectangular checkerboard! I will have to supplement the jelly roll with lights from the stash, but that is all right if the quilt becomes a little bigger. I'm thinking it will make a nice baby/toddler quilt as my supply is running low.

I checked my spreadsheet to make sure I record the new quilts, and the finish, but it looks like my Unassuming quilt was so unassuming, it didn't even make it on the list as a started quilt! I was just making some blocks and playing and somehow a quilt showed up.  You would think that one finish of a quilt that wasn't even on the list and two starts would lower my percentage of finished quilts, but I had also forgotten to list my Valentine's Day swap quilts, so I am still at finishing 80% of the quilts I start. Of the quilts I finished, it took me an average of 262 days to make each one.

When I was in school, I would be thoroughly disappointed with an 80%, but as an adult, I think it shows me as a free spirit who doesn't have to follow anyone's rules, even mine. Quilting is fun for me, and it is going to stay that way.

Linked to:
Moving it Forward 
What I Made Monday 
Let's Bee Social
WIPs on Wednesday

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.    

C. S. Lewis

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Prize ATCs

A few weeks ago, I announced that it was my Blogiversary and I would send a prize to a winner who wrote a comment on the post by August 30. That date has come and gone, and I have decided to send a prize to everyone who commented on that post.  I have emailed all of them to let them know they have won.

Here are the ATCs I created. I chose a beautiful fabric and quilted it on some Krafttex. Then I cut them up to size and individually decorated them, using pictures of quilts and words from a Connecting Threads catalog and a brochure from the LQS. That background fabric was hard to coverup, but I forced myself since the quilts and words were pretty too. I added some embellishments here and there.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Unassuming Quilt

Quilts don't really talk to me, but sometimes describing the conversation helps explain the mood and feel of the quilt.

This quilt has always been unassuming and flexible. It made no demands and was willing to go along with the first thing I suggested.

I made some blocks (mistakes from the On Ringo Lake quilt), and when I decided to put them in the orphan box, there was nothing to compel me to do anything else.  But, as I was taking the blocks upstairs to put them in the orphan blocks box, I spied the sashing fabric that would be adequate for the quilt. There was nothing compelling me to find the perfect fabric to match.

Then I laid the blocks aside, and while I was looking for fabric for some other quilt (or cleaning up the sewing room), I found the other sashing fabric. Same situation for the border fabric.

When I went to get the Droid quilt, this quilt was a stowaway, as it was sharing a hanger. It was more than happy to just wait until I got around to quilting it, but as I was looking for batting for the Droid quilt, the piece I picked up was the right size for this quilt, and the backing fabric was sitting on top of a pile. Again, it was perfectly adequate, and there was nothing compelling me to find a better backing. I am really happy with this fabric as the backing. It adds a fun touch.

The quilting was also easy. There was nothing compelling me to try hard, so I made the leaf shapes.  I did practice feathers in the wide sashing. I was thinking of straight lines for the border, but am glad I decided to make hills instead. I decided to let this quilt keep things easy, and folded the backing to the front. I think the busy fabric keeps a casual look to the quilt.

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
― John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne 

15 Minutes to Stitch

I managed to stitch 15 minutes a day's worth this week on this quilt. I didn't do much stitching the previous week, and since I don't remember for sure, I will go ahead and call it 0. I just wasn't motivated to do much stitching last week.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  198 out of 245 sessions
Success rate: 80%

This makes my success rate at 80%. I'm hoping not to go below that, so hopefully I will continue the progress for the rest of the year.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch - Week 35
What I made Monday 
Design Wall Monday 
Main Crush Monday 
Monday Making 
Friday Finishes 
Let's Bee Social