Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My 2019 Yearly Quilting Recap

2019 has been a good year for me, especially on the quilting front.  I joined the challenge to make a small quilt a month, and because of that, I have lots of finishes to show you. Let's charge right in, shall we?


In January, I made Vintage Holiday. The pattern is in a magazine, and I was smitten as soon as I saw it.  Since I took the picture, I took out the lace that is on that tree, lightly coffee-dyed it so it wouldn't stand out so much, and put it back in.


In February, I made the Mighty Matchstick Mansion. I've posted a tutorial for it.

I also added borders to my Cultural Fusion rail fence quilt as a part of a blog hop.


In March, I made the Butterfly Wreaths quilt.  It started out to be a mini quilt, but I was enjoying making the blocks to much so it is a bigger than a mini quilt, more like a small wall hanging.

This is the first time I have made a scalloped border. I also wrote a post giving you tips and tricks on how to make a scalloped border. I also worked on making the Uncommon and Unexpected Improv quilt.


In April, I made the Bunny Parade mini quilt.

I also made two quilts for Be a Diamond blog hop.


I didn't have any finishes to show for May. I worked on making yo-yos for a yo-yo quilt, the Seiring family genealogy book. Also in May, I started making the daily index cards.


In June, I made the Eyes mini quilt.


In July, I made the Fuschia Fairy mini quilt.

 I also made this lap size commission quilt, called Love and Happiness. This is a pretty big lap quilt.

But that's not all!  I also finished making the blocks on the Fourth Rail (rail fence) quilt, and tried out different layouts. I also made more blocks for the ATC holder.


In August, I made this small black and white Neighborhood quilt. It was an impromptu quilt. I saw the pattern and made it right away, although it was more that I used the idea and not really following the pattern.


 I didn't have any finishes for September. I worked on a collage quilt, and made a couple of charity quilt tops. I have a tutorial for the collage quilt also.  I also spent a lot of time quilting a Drunkard's Path quilt which was a UFO. 


I didn't have any finishes in October either. I started piecing Courthouse Steps as a way to use up small scraps.  I continued to work on the Drunkard's Path quilt.


In November, I finally finished the Drunkard's Garden quilt. It started as a flimsy I made in 2003 or thereabouts. At that time I had a lot of trouble with free-motion quilting and was sure I would ruin this beautiful quilt if I tried.  It needed time for me to increase my skill level and my confidence.

I did some intricate quilting on it and finished it off. I probably used up the reddish purple fabric I had saved for the backing and binding, and used a recently purchased blue instead.


I had been working on the Shirts Quilt since October, but since it was a gift, I didn't blog about it until the end of December.  It is a bed size quilt made out of uniform dress shirts.

2019 Word of the Year

The word of the year was Appreciate, and while I kept forgetting what the word of the year was, and didn't follow through with writing what I appreciated in every blog post, I think I did internalize it though. There were many times throughout the year where I thought about something I really liked, and even routines such as cleaning were done with a different attitude. Less "I'd better clean up this pigsty" and more "I really like this house; let me treat it better."

Week 52 of Fifteen Minutes to Stitch

 I joined Kate's 15 Minutes to Stitch challenge again this year and tried to stitch at least 15 minutes every day.  I was flexible in this, as sometimes I missed some days and made up the time some other time during the week.  Some of this time was used to clean my sewing spaces.  I really think this challenge is what keeps me as productive as I have this year. It gives me permission to make the time to devote to quilting and stitching, and those few minutes a day really do add up. It is quite possible to make a lot of progress just a few minutes at a time. It takes longer to reach the finish line, but it really does help make sure that we take the time to enjoy the process. You can see my 15 Minutes to Stitch Challenge posts.

I might as well go ahead and post my end of the year stats here. The last time I posted was week 49. I didn't post after that because I was working on the shirts quilt and I didn't want my family to ask questions about what I was working on, in case they had a sudden inclination to read the blog.

  • 15 Minute sessions of stitching since the last time I posted: 23 out of 23
  • 15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 326 out of 365 days
  • Success Rate: 89%

Daily Photographs


Another thing I have done throughout the years is trying to take photographs every day. I showed them to you throughout the year, sometimes as a part of other posts, and sometimes in their own monthly recap. You can see them using the Daily Photographs label.

Did you notice the chameleon in the photo?

One Card a Day

This year, I started decorating index cards, about one a day.  You can see my One Card a Day posts using the Index Card Drawing label.

I hope you have enjoyed this review of my quilting progress this year. Which one is your favorite?

I've been doing a yearly review for many years, the oldest post I can find is 2008.  You can see them all here.

Linked to:
Monday Making

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

Blue Shirts Quilt

A while ago, my brother-in-law gave me a bunch of his blue shirts. They were a part of his work uniform with the khaki pants.  They sat while I was trying to decide how to make a quilt with just one color of fabric.

Eventually, I got tired of them taking up space, so I cut them up into squares. I cut them into squares that would finish at 10 inches. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 1/2, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 inch squares.

I then just sewed them together so they would become 10 inch squares. It is making literal the joke that quilters just cut up fabric and sew it back up again.

The original plan was to use plaid squares at the bottom to look like a table, and then applique a vase of flowers at the top. The blue shirts would be a background and it would be the shadows created by the seams that would make it look somewhat interesting.

As I started sewing the squares together, I realized that I did not have to cut just squares. I could cut rectangles too.  This made it a little more difficult to keep all the different shapes organized, but helped keep it speedy. I did add additional smaller pieces because I liked the look of them.

Sometimes I wished there was a second grader around so I could "test" their skills in counting to ten in different combinations. You have to remember when to add the half inch seam allowance and when not to when you are adding and deciding what shapes to sew and what size shapes you still need to cut.

It was creating interesting patterns because the shirts really weren't all the same color. Since they were actually used shirts, each shirt had different colors. The sun had bleached the shoulders and backs, and inside parts like the yoke and the part that is tucked in the khakis were dark, and the other parts were medium. I left some stains in there too to add character.

I made a full size quilt made of shirts. Right now it is 80" x 80". I gave it to him, unfinished, because I want to add one more row, and I need another shirt in order to do that.  I did as much as I could without that row - quilting and all. It's almost become a tradition - me giving unfinished quilts as gifts. It takes away some of the unnecessary pressure.

Once I get the shirt, I can make the final row, quilt it, then bind the whole thing.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Best of 2019: Blog Posts with Most Comments

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2019 Linky Party.

 I already have an end of the year blog post to show you all my quilty finishes this year.  I plan to show you closer to the end of the year in case I get another finish done before the end of the year. So I decided to choose to show you my Top 5 blog posts with the most comments.

5. WIP Inventory was published on March 17. It has 18 comments. In it, I showed a bunch of projects that were in the works. With the holiday cleaning, I have put away most of my WIPs so I will have to dig them out again. Of the ten projects I showed you, I finished three. I quilted the Drunkard's Path quilt, and I combined the stitchery into the genealogy book which I finished. I do like showing the inventory and seeing the progress, and think I should do inventories like this more often.

4. Quilt Reveal: Drunkard's Path is next with 21 comments. As is appropriate for a quilt called Drunkard's Path, it took me 5,960 days to make this quilt.

3. Shasta Matova's Online Quilters Meet and Greet is next with 27 comments.  It too is a part of a blog hop. In it, I told you a bit about myself and I brought out some of my small quilts to show you a variety of quilts that I make.   A couple posts later, I went back and showed you More Small Quilts.


2 Diamonds for the Be a Diamond Blog Hop is next with 28 comments. The fact that it is part of a blog hop added to the number of comments. I didn't have a lot of time to make a diamond quilt, but I managed to make two small quick quilts. At some point, I would like to make a diamond quilt where I have more time to make it.

1.Top on the list is Dust Off an Old Book: Cultural Fusion. It had 41 comments. It helped that it was part of a blog hop, and also helped that I offered a couple of used books as a prize.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Index Card a Day

I told you that I have been making the Index Card a Day (ICAD) for many days this year, beyond the 60 days in the original challenge. I showed you the first 60 cards, but then I slacked off. They only take a few minutes a day and I wasn't sure they were worthy of showing them to you. 

But now as we are close to the end of the year, I figured they would be worthy as a group, so I made a few collages for you.  I basically made one card a day, except for those days where I made none, and except for those days where I made more than one.

I wasn't patient enough with Picasa to make sure they showed all the photos and definitely didn't put them in chronological order. It kept duplicating some and not showing others. And there were too many for me to keep track of which ones were in a collage and which ones weren't.

I thought they would give you a good taste of the rest of the cards.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2020 Quilting Goals

Quilting Jet Girl is having a planning party, so even though I haven't even finished my goals for 2019, I am looking ahead to the next year to decide what my goals should be. I tend to do things out of order anyway, and when there are prizes involved, well, how can I resist?

1. The first goal I have is to tame the scraps. I have emptied a few scrap boxes so far this year, and I would like to continue that process next year. My end of the year goal is to have 1 (one, yes only ONE) scrap box by the end of the year. A reasonable size box; no stuffing all the scraps in a refrigerator box allowed!

2.  Clean the sewing room every month.  I am still in the process of going through every.single.thing in the bedrooms, and I want to keep it in some sort of order by making sure that I keep going back to keep them tidy. It isn't reasonable to say I will always keep them clean so once a month sounds reasonable.

3.  Keep making a mini a month, allowing for exceptions for busy times. These little quilts keep the joy in quilting.

4.  Keep stitching 15 minutes a day.  It keeps me sane and gives me permission to take time out for me.

5.  Move quilts forward, preferably to completion.  I have a bunch of quilts in progress and I want to make sure that they don't stagnate.

6. Keep having fun. This means that if any of the other goals cause any stress, I can focus on another, or even, gasp, start a new quilt!

2019 Planning Party  

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Return of the 365 Circles

I am happy with my progress for this year so instead of rushing to finish anything else, I decided to move a number of projects forward so they don't feel left out and I can continue to call them WIPs (work in progress) instead of UFOs (unfinished objects).

Here are a few more circles I made for my circle 365 project. It is a project I started a couple of years ago, and was supposed to make one block a day. I decided not to keep my circles simple to avoid tedium, but circles that are not simple take more time.

Circle Block 265


I am going to be using this fabric in the yo-yo quilt.

Circle Block 266

These are scrap pieces that were leftover from making the courthouse square blocks.

Circle Block 267

I like the holiday mood on this block.

 Circle Block 268

I know I've done a block like this, but not with these fabrics.

Week 49 of Fifteen Minutes to Stitch

 The year is flying fast and we have finished Week 49 of the year. I didn't post last week, so this recap is for two weeks.
  • 15 Minute sessions of stitching these two weeks: 14 out of 14
  • 15 Minute sessions of stitching this year: 303 out of 342 days
  • Success Rate: 89%

Linked with:
Kate's Life in Pieces 15 Minutes to Stitch