Monday, December 31, 2018

Final 15 Minutes to Stitch of 2018

I waited an extra day to post the 15 Minutes to Stitch Recap so that I could incorporate today and finish out the year.

The settings of my blog somehow changed and the font looks smaller and the margins look bigger. When I tried to change the settings, the settings that show up in the editing process don't look like what the blog actually looks like. I have made the settings super big in the editing process, and hope it doesn't look as huge on your screen. Please let me know how it looks to you.


15 Minutes to Stitch

This week,  I have been quilting the Drunkard Path quilt. I sketched out a meandering plan and showed the picture of the plan to my sewing machine, since I learned that I had to do that last time.  But it is a complicated meander - the finish of one S curve is supposed to be the start of the next one, and mostly it isn't working, but hopefully it isn't working consistently enough to look okay.

Since I don't want to change the thread for piecing, because my last sewing machine told me not to mess with anything when things are working, and because I don't want to use up my purple thread and don't want to use anything but white for the new quilts, I have just been cutting and pressing more pieces to get them ready. The black and white is for the ATC Holder and the yellow is for the Sunshine in Winter quilt. I like how the colors go so well with the kantha quilt I bought this month.  I don't know which came first, but apparently this is my mood right now.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  8 out of 8 (to incorporate the final day of the year)
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  312 out of 365 sessions
Success Rate: 85%

Linked to:

15 Minutes to Stitch Week 52. Thank you so much Kate for encouraging me every week.

I will continue stitching every day and start a new count for the new year.

2019 Word of the Year

My word of the year for 2018 was confidence. My goal for this year was to quiet that voice, and say back, "Yes, I am sure" instead of thinking "I think so" and pushing through despite my lack of assurance.

Unfortunately I have to say that it wasn't very successful for me. It worked okay for the most part, but it didn't permeate everything I did, like the Clarity word I had used before. Part of the problem is that it isn't an ongoing idea that affects everything I do. I am normally confident enough in normal, daily things, so the word only needed to be used in those times when I wasn't feeling confident, and it is hard to not feel what I feel. Also I tend to be a humble person, and I'm not quite sure how to be humble and confident at the same time.

There isn't anything I wish I had the confidence to do that I didn't do, but I didn't reach out to do anything that needed confidence either.

Anyway, it is time to plan a new word for the year. This year, I didn't have to look for the word on a list of words like I did last year. It came to me shortly after Thanksgiving, when gratitude is the motto. I kept thinking about it and since I am still thinking about it, I will use it for 2019.


Appreciation is more than being grateful. It is seeing the value and worth of everything and everybody in my life. It is about recognizing things that are normally taken for granted.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

High Road Quilter's 2018 In Review

In the past, I showed my finishes for the year, but last year, I showed a summary of my quilting year. I liked that better so I am doing that again this year.


In January, I resumed work on the Circle 365 quilt. I started with block 201 this year.

I also showed you my progress on the On Ringo Lake quilt which was started late last year as a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. Pointless Puzzle was a small quilt top I started with some leftover blocks from On Ringo Lake.

On the January 30, I showed you my finished Adinkra quilt, which was started in 2016. It set a pretty high bar for the rest of the year.


In February, I kept working on the circle blocks.

I made these little quilts for a Valentine's Day swap. The one I sent to the swap recipient took a nap at her post office so it was pretty lucky that I had made two, and I was able to send her the second one. I got the first one back more than a month later.

I kept working on On Ringo Lake and finished making all the blocks.

I did some stitching on my orange crazy quilt block.

Also in February, I made a tiny book to fit in the French mints tin.


In March, I kept working on On Ringo Lake blocks.


In April, I kept working on On Ringo Lake blocks and the sashing.


In May, I kept working on On Ringo Lake, practiced some crochet and stumpwork. I also started taking an online crazy quilting class, which I did not finish.


In June, I finished the On Ringo Lake quilt top and promptly set it aside. This one took a great deal of time, and I am so proud that I was able to keep working on it without getting side tracked.

I made another stumpwork lady.  I did some more work for the crazy quilting class.


I made this small flag bird.


In August I made a Death Star for the Droid quilt and worked on a vintage stitchery.


In September, I started Sweet Land of Liberty sewalong, and the Colonial Bricks quilt.

I also finished the small quilt I made with On Ringo Lake fabric. It started out being called Pointless Wonder but had a name change to Unassuming Quilt at the last minute.


I kept working on the Colonial Bricks quilt. It was supposed to be a simple and quick quilt, but other quilts keep hopping in line in front of it.

I made these two little quilts in October.

In October, I made a belated housewarming present.

I also made more Sweet Land of Liberty and circle blocks.



Throughout the year, I have been making a few circles now and then. I've made progress on the Circle 365 quilt. I've passed the halfway point.

I finished the This Droid is Not For Sale quilt.

I finished a latch hook my daughter made and turned it into a pillow.

I've been working on quilting my drunkard path quilt. It is my oldest UFO.

I've started an ATC holder.

I started the Sunlight in Winter / Garden Mosaic quilt. This slowed down the progress on finishing UFOs, but my quilts are used to jostling for their place in line.

With all of the small quilts I made this year, my average finish time has gone down significantly. It now takes me an average of 251 days to finish a quilt.  I generally don't mind that the number is big, because fun, not productivity is the goal. Also, I would make simpler quilts if I wanted quicker turnaround times, but the simpler quilts don't hold my interest and sometimes leave me disappointed with myself for not choosing a more challenging quilt when I do finish them.  Once the drunkard path quilt gets finished, that average number will go back up. But I do like that number to be smaller, so I might need to make smaller quilts in 2019 to make that number smaller again!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

High Road Quilter Best of 2018

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a linky party. To take part in the link party, simply write a new blog post highlighting your "best" 5 posts from 2018 and linkup.  There is no set way or rules to pick your best, you can pick and highlight your posts anyway you would like.
  • Posts with the most comments
  • Posts that provoked the best discussions
  • Posts showing your favorite 2018 finishes
  • Posts of your best tutorials
  • Posts that are simply your favorites

I have decided to show my five favorite posts from 2018.  There are a lot to choose from, since I have written a lot of posts this year.

Here they are, in chronological order.  I have deliberately not shown you any of my finished quilts, because I am saving them for my end of the year post. I don't want you to get sick and tired of them before I present them all together in a group shot.

In March, I showed you a fabric mandala my sister made out of some of my fabric scraps.  Besides getting a beautiful present to remind me of my friendship with my sister and a wonderful way to decorate my home, it also gave me a new way to use fabric scraps.

Jourdan Dukes cc by 2.0 via Flickr

In April, I presented 11 Suggestions For How to Avoid Unfinished Quilts. It had all sorts of good ideas about how to get the quilts moving along. Be sure to read the comments as well to see other suggestions by my readers.

In June, I posted The Problem With the Blue where talked about my frustration with my On Ringo Lake quilt and how a change of perspective changed everything.

I want to highlight a group of posts instead of a single post. That is my Daily Photographs.
 I tried to take pictures often, not really daily, but close, and show them to you on my blog. There were some camera troubles and such, but I took a lot of pictures this year and shared them with you.  In fact, all of my posts have at least one photo, but I tried to label the ones that are not quilt related as Daily Photographs.


Last, but not least, I wanted to highlight my 15 Minutes to Stitch posts. The goal was to stitch 15 minutes every day. I changed the rules a bit and allowed myself to make up time if I missed a day as long as I made it up during the week.  Besides giving me permission to quilt every single day, thereby relieving stress, this challenge has also required me to blog every week so I could report my progress. I didn't keep up with using this image, and over time, simplified the stats I was recording.  I was hoping to finish out the year with a better than 80% success rate and I have met it.

I hope you have enjoyed my 5 Favorite Posts of 2018.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thrift Store Adventures

Two random pictures in the same day: thrift store finds

I showed these cross stitch projects to you earlier. I  got them for great prices at the thrift store and they are now hanging in my guest room.

The other day I went to the same thrift store and picked up a baby quilt. It was a nine patch quilt in soft reds with a white background alternated with a solid white block. It was slightly faded and had some small stains on the back, but that made it more precious. It was well made and without a thorough examination, I didn't know if it was factory or home made.  It was a super price too, and I thought that I could find a use for it even though I don't have a baby to gift it to. 

I was walking around the store carrying it around (I don't get a cart unless I need it for something I really want to buy. It is my system of avoiding impulse purchases).  A lady asked about it and I told her she could have it.  She doesn't have a baby either but she said she would put it on her bed.

At least now I've made sure it got a good home.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Day 24: 31 Day Blog Challenge

I did a test run with the fabrics I will be using to see if I can add the sashing and the corner triangles at the same time.  Yes it stays together very well with just pressure from my fingers and does not need any basting.  The corners are small but I think they will work just fine to show the ATC without covering it up too much.

Random picture of the day: ferret.  I picked it because it is red and green with a touch of yellow and white.

I hope you  have a very Happy Christmas Eve and an extraordinary, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Day 23: Sewing for the Holidays

My daughter's pillow is finished. She can choose to not use the pillow form if she would rather have a wall hanging. She made this when she was much younger without any prompting for me. The kit was a gift from my mother, I think.

So it is fitting that I used some upholstery fabric my mother gave me for the backing. I used the pair of jeans I saved last week for the upper flap.  I didn't want to use more upholstery fabric because the patterns would clash with each other.

Random picture of the day: dog. Since the floor matches the pillow, I have to show it to you first.

I made some HSTs for the Garden Mosaic quilt. It is just a test to see if I can handle it.  So far, so good.

15 Minutes to Stitch

This week,  I finished hand sewing the binding on the Droid quilt. Also cut and pressed a few triangles for the Sunlight in Winter quilt, and made the pillow for my daughter.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  304 out of 357 sessions
Success Rate: 85%

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch 
Monday Making 
Slow Sunday Stitching  My daughter did most of the slow stitching, putting in all the latch hook knots.  But I did stitch slowly by machine to get all the layers just right. It is my first time sewing a latch hook that I can remember.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Day 22: Quilts Floating in my Head

Random picture of the day: Piano flowerpot

I have so many ideas floating in my head about quilts I want to make. I usually do not write them down, because every day a bunch of new ideas come in and crowd some of the other ones out.  But it is the end of the year, and you are supposed to come up with lists, especially if you are doing a blog challenge to write every day. 

So here are some random ideas floating in my head of things to do for the rest of 2018 and 2019:

1.  Finish the drunkard path quilt. Top is already pieced, and I basted it this week, so progress is being made.

2.  Move other UFOs along to a finished state.  Here are the ones I am thinking of at this point.
  • a. trip around the world needs quilting. I had high hopes of adding some kind of applique border, but it might be okay to quilt without fancy borders. I haven't seen the quilt in a long time so I don't know for sure. I know it does have wide borders.  Would a TATW look good with scalloped borders?
  • a rail fence from the book Cultural Fusion. It is an awkward size - too big to be a small quilt that fits on the bulletin board and too small to be a wall hanging that fits on my hangers above my couches. The center is made with warm colors. I think I can make the border with cool colors and that will make it look like I did it on purpose and not like I ran out of fabric. Yes I know this quilt was on the list for 2016 and 2017 and 2018.

3.  Work on the ATC holder.  I've figured out I need many more triangle pieces and was thinking of starting the sewing to see how bad it is before I cut any more. My original plan (dare I say it?), is a 12 x 12 grid, which means 144 spaces, which means 576 triangles.   I am hoping I can find a way to sew on the corners and the sashing at the same time without basting.  I will get some white thread so I can get started and see how bad it is. I reserve the right to limit quantities.

4.  Make a scrap quilt, or two or three. Or a hundred.  I have to reduce the boxes of scraps.  They are contained, but there are too many containers. Instead of getting rid of the scraps, my goal is to sew them up and justify their existence. I have lots of ideas for scrap quilts but I want to keep it simple. Right now I am thinking of another rail fence. I made one with three rails, so maybe one with four rails would be different but still easy.

5. Here's another dare I say it?  I want to make the Mosaic quilt.  The reason I don't want to put that in the scrap quilt list is that this quilt has small triangles, and while the simple block is really perfect for scrap quilts, I think I will have trouble finishing it if I have to cut out so many little pieces, trim triangles, sew them back together over and over again.  I like quilts with repetition, but I tend to get whiney when I make them. So to spare you, I am thinking of making it with yardage.  I am thinking about the impulse buy of yellow fabrics I just bought.  Maybe if I use them in the Mosaic quilt, I can justify their existence too.  . Right now, I am thinking of a two color quilt - a yellow and white one. I was really taken with the blog name Sunshine in Winter, and I think a yellow and white quilt with that name is something I need to have.  I don't know if using the same colors will get monotonous for me.  I am going to make a couple of sample blocks to see.  I have to get some white thread first. I might make the blocks smaller, or use bigger pieces to make the quilt more manageable. I haven't decided yet.

6. Lorna Mahon is going to start a Harry Potter quiltalong which is very tempting. And Bonnie Hunter's mystery is tempting. And retroactively Temucula Quilt's mystery quilt is worth making.

7. Red and white quilts. I want to have a collection of red and white quilts I've made. I keep seeing them in my bloglovin' feed and I can only resist so long.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Day 21: Gift Pillow

My daughter made this latch hook a long time ago. She said she was willing to take it off my hands if I finished it up for her. She is so generous! Since neither of us have any use for an unfinished latch hook, I am making this into a pillow and gifting it to her for the holiday. See, I can be generous too!

The photo shows the back of the latch hook, read for sewing.

Random picture of the day from the archive: flowers ring and donuts rings

There are a lot of bloggers who have joined the challenge to blog every day in December, so be sure to click on this link to see what they are up to.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Quilt Reveal: Rey and BB8 (and Death Star) from Star Wars

 I have finished binding the Droid quilt. Yes I labeled it Rey and BB8 (and Death Star) from Star Wars, because sometimes people need help figuring out what the quilt is about.

 Since you have seen the front so many times, let's take the time to admire the back, shall we?  The two shades of orange add a nice contrast and interest to the expanse of blue.  Did you notice that it is in a straight line and in a vertical position? That little flap of beige quilted down nicely without getting tangled and lets me add the labeling without any hand stitching.

Random picture of the day from the archives: Birds

linked to:
Off the Wall Friday