Friday, November 30, 2018

70273 Project

I heard about the 70273 project a long time ago. I tried to search for it on my blog to see when I talked about it, but I can't find it. In short, it is a quilt project to commemorate the  70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were killed by the Nazis between January 1940 and August 1941. It takes two X's to make one block and each XX block represents one person, since it took two doctor's marks to carry through the execution. The goal is to have 70,273 blocks made and put into quilts to commemorate each of the individuals.

I have been meaning to make some blocks for this project for a long time.

Since all of my fabric has been put away for the Thanksgiving gathering, and I had just bought some basic fabric which included red and white, I decided to make some blocks. I am making them improv style. I just cut a strip of white and two strips of red to see how many blocks it would make. I need to trim and press these X's and then put them together into blocks before sending them to be put into quilts. Because it is a big project, my initial goal was to make a large number of blocks, maybe even a small quilt, but I think that is what made me take so long to make the blocks. Now I figure I will make whatever contribution I can make now, since I can always make more in the future.

The Droid quilt is still not bound, but I put it up on the wall anyway for the gathering, and nobody noticed that it wasn't bound until I told them. It will get done once I am finished with the XX blocks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Crooked House

My bathroom vanity has been broken for a few years. The big door under the sink broke off, tearing the wood, and I fixed it by installing a curtain. That's the type of fix I can easily do as someone who sews and has some extra fabric. This year, I saw a vanity on sale that had the features I wanted in a vanity and so decided to replace the broken one. The new vanity is approximately the same size and shape as the old one. Since it is built into an alcove in the wall above the steps, I measured it several times to make sure it wasn't too big for the space.

I chose a contractor who was recommended by my neighbors online. He took out the old sink and then he took a good look at the space. He said "your walls are crooked."  I thought that since the old vanity fit in the space, he could do whatever the old contractors had done to make that vanity fit. I told him to make the easy fix, and don't worry if the vanity goes in a little bit crooked. The old vanity was probably crooked too and nobody noticed or cared.

I live in an older house. My neighborhood was one that was quickly built up after the World War II to provide housing to soldiers. This house doesn't look like my neighbors so I don't know if it was already here during the housing boom or if someone decided he would make the house himself instead of  getting the standard choice.  It's a hand made house, and it has the charm of an older house.

Imagine hiring a precision traditional quiltmaker to make a repair on an improv quilt.  What we thought was two hours worth of work took more than ten. He gave me a discount so I wouldn't have to pay for ten hours of work and it does look very nice.

So anyway, he was here working for a long time. While he was doing his thing, I was getting ready for the Thanksgiving gathering. The gatherers came and went (fun times was had by all even though we didn't have use of the bathroom sink), and I was able to put the sewing machine out again.  Sunday night  was my first day off in a long time since there was no employer work, no vanity work, no house cleaning, but I made work for myself anyway. I made a block for Island Batik as a sample to show them I know how to sew. It's  part of the application to become an Island Batik ambassador. I made the block on Sunday and put it in the envelope for mailing so I could work on Monday without worrying about having things to do. I forgot to take a picture of it. 

In the morning, I put the sample block envelope in the mailbox for the mail carrier to pick it up. Since I had the sewing machine out, when he came in on Monday, the contractor said, "oh you sew can you fix this hole in my jacket?" He was working so hard on that cabinet that I decided to help him. I have no skill in fixing the hole so I patched it up with a little bit of fabric I had and hand stitched it in place. The jacket had construction stains on it so I figured an improv fix would be okay.

The mail carrier didn't come all day (or night). It is still in the mailbox this morning.  And the whole day, I am thinking about the picture I didn't take so I can't show you the block. I made a churn dash block using traditional quilt shop fabrics. I am not sure I have any Island Batik fabrics and didn't have time to dig for it. I wasn't sure if they would appreciate seeing their competitors' batik fabrics in a sample block so I used traditional fabric. It turned out to be the right size, so hopefully they just wanted the sample to see if I can sew, follow directions and meet deadlines.

15 Minutes to Sew

I made the block on Sunday and I am going to take credit for the whole week because I think I deserve it. It looks like I didn't do an update for last week. I am taking full credit for last week too. I finished quilting the Droid quilt, and I trimmed it to get it ready for binding. I hung it up on the wall unbound and nobody noticed.  It is still hanging up on the wall.

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  276 out of 329 sessions
Success rate: 83%

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Droid Quilting Continued

I am quilting the background of the Droid quilt, and had sketched out the quilt plan to build some muscle memory and see if I could execute the design easily. I liked the sketch, but it didn't look the same on the fabric.

So I showed the sketch to the sewing machine and explained the plan. I put the sketch front and center so the sewing machine could see it while it was sewing.  Things are working much better now. I think having a wider space helps, because then the lines look more meandering when they can come from both directions. When there is only one column (between the characters), that one column doesn't look as good by itself.

I'm not really happy with my choice of background design, but I am sticking with it. You really can't see it from a distance and it doesn't affect the integrity of the quilt, so I am not ripping it out.

I ran out of bobbin so I took it out to  do a quality inspection.  I was happy to see that I had just passed being halfway done through the background quilting.  Then I realized that meant there is half left to do.

All right, enough procrastination. Back to bobbin winding and quilting.

Linked to:
Em's Moving it Forward - I don't have time to write a new post, but I did want to say that the quilting is finished. I had a hard time trimming it to a rectangular shape - since there was so much space that didn't have a border or line to follow. But that's done now too and I am moving on to binding it.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Quilting Droid Quilt

I spent this week quilting the Droid quilt again.  I have now finished the characters - Rey and BB8 and the Death Star, so all that's left is the background and I've done some of that too. Most of these pictures were taken before the background was quilted.

I gave Rey some eyelashes, a chin divot, and a nose.  There are parts that are not quilted which makes her face wrinkled, so I am considering more quilting.   Sam had quilted strands of hair across her face, and it looked good when she did it.

Her torso follows quilting that Sam used, but more organic. I also outlined the whole shape, which helps distinguish her arms from her torso.

I gave her plaid pants. And fingers. Just don't count them!

Knobby knees. You can see the diamonds on the sword on this picture.

These are the thread colors I used.  The bobbin thread ran out as soon as I was finished with the variegated orange. I found the pretty blue but it looked like it was running out after I filled the bobbin so I had to use a different blue for the quilting. The background quilting looked much better in my drawn sample. They are just supposed to be straight lines and smooth curves to go to the next row, but alternated so they don't switch at the same place. I plan to practice drawing some more and quilt it using that design, and see how much this background bothers me when I am done with that. Right  now, it does bother me enough to want to rip out.

That lumpy space besides BB8 doesn't look that bad in real life. It just looks like that because there is unquilted space besides quilted space and I think it can be quilted down.

15 Minutes to Stitch Progress

This week, all of my sewing time was spent filling bobbins and quilting this quilt. I didn't quilt every single day. Daylight savings time requires adjusting time, but I made up the lost time on the weekend.

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  262 out of 315 sessions
Success rate: 83%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch 
WIP Linky Party

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Last Week's Quilting Progress and Beautiful Fall Colors

It's getting colder so the leaves of our trees are turning color.

I'm going to sneak in a post about my progress for last week before it is time to post this week's progress.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of quilting done.

I had an electrician come by on Saturday work on my porch light fixtures, but I figured I might as well have him check all the outlets while he was here, which meant I needed to rearrange things so he had access to outlets and clean the baseboards and under furniture, etc.  So my sewing time on Thursday and Friday was taken over by cleaning time.

Then Saturday, I spent my sewing time with the electrician. He got everything done on his list, which means I can check things off my list.  I finally now have light again from the front porch and the back porch,  just in time for daylight savings time.

On Sunday, I went to a cemetery tour to learn about the history of the city and the cemetery, and to look at the beautiful trees. I took a lot of pictures of individual burial markers we saw along the tour so I was able to sneak in some genealogy time. Even if it isn't my family, hopefully I can help someone else with their genealogy.

15 Minutes to Stitch

All of my sewing time was spent quilting Rey on the Droid quilt.  I am loving all the texture it is creating. I am not used to quilting in small time increments. I usually try to do it all at the same time, while I am in the same mood and frame of mind, so that my stitches can be consistent.  It isn't too bad though, since I am making different designs on the different sections.

My measly progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  2 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  255 out of 308 sessions
Success rate: 82%