Thursday, January 31, 2019

Quilt Reveal: Vintage Holiday

As you know, I have been working on the Vintage Holiday mini quilt. I missed the deadline for Project Quilting, and decided to take my time and hand stitch the binding. It looks much neater when I hand stitch because I don't have a lot of practice machine sewing the binding.

 I finished putting the binding on Vintage Holiday last night, and was very proud of myself for getting it done before the end of the month. After all, it is only the 30th and there are 31 days in January. It was even done way before midnight so I was more than a day ahead. It turns out everyone else was finished before me. They apparently don't know that when something is due on the end of the month, that means it should be finished at exactly 11:59 p.m. I couldn't post last night because I didn't want to show nighttime pictures of my quilt. My pics look bad enough during the winter day. Anyway, here is my grand reveal.

So here it is the end of the month
and time to share 
 my monthly mini challenge

Vintage Holiday was started January 21 and finished January 30. It uses solid red fabric and two white prints. The binding is a slightly textured red print. The pattern comes from Christmas Quilts and More magazine. I used an embroidery stitch to stitch down the red background and fused the applique down.  I sandwiched the quilt, and stitched all the applique pieces down with free motion quilting. I also outlined each of the applique pieces to make them stand out.  I realized that there was a blank space on the right side, and instead of making another sled, I decided to add a dog.  So now, this quilt fits in the dog quilt category as well as the red and white, the winter, the small quilts, and the holiday categories.

The red background is quilted with windy swirls and the white background has downward sloping lines to resemble a hill. I had a great time quilting it.

I woke up one morning, realizing that the dot under the O in Season's was supposed to be the dot for the I.  I was disappointed in myself for not following the instructions or at least thinking it through, because if I had switched those two O's, they would look more like a snowman. When I looked at the pattern, it looks like I did follow the instructions. In the unlikely event I ever make this quilt again, I will move the word Seasons so that the i is properly dotted. (It is unlikely because I don't like to repeat what I make, not because I didn't enjoy making it.)

I added a lace trim just over the  top because the lace wouldn't show over the white so there was no point in it. I also added a lace garland over a tree as a special treat for those who took the time to look closely at the quilt. In these pictures, the lace on the tree looks too white. I might have to find a way to tea stain it.

I added a corner triangle on the back for a label. The backing uses the same white as the trees.  I even went outside in the frigid temperatures to get you this and the picture at the top of the post.

Linked with:
Friday Foto Fun

Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Quilting Week

I've been cutting up scraps of fabric and applique pieces for most of this year, so when I finally got to sit down at a sewing machine and quilt the Vintage Holiday quilt, I tell you, it was just bliss.  I even forced myself to take a break midway to allow myself time to savor it.  I didn't realize how much I missed sitting in front of the sewing machine!

I decided not to birth it and still need to bind it, but since I missed the deadline for Project Quilting, I'm wondering if I should move on to the next quilt with a deadline - the improv rail fence, so that maybe it gets done close to its deadline!

Week 4 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

This week, I cut up some more scraps, but most of my week was spent making the Vintage Holiday quilt.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  27 out of 27 sessions
Success Rate: 100%

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch
Moving it Forward Monday

Friday, January 25, 2019

Vintage Holiday Progress

In my last post, I told you I was working on a new quilt, but I did not show it to you. It is hard to take photos when it is dark, and I work during the day, so I need to remember to take a photo during a break.

I easily found the solid red fabric I had bought to make my red and white quilts that have been on my wish list ever since I heard about the red and whites quilt exhibition. Apparently, it didn't occur to me to buy white as well, so I used the white that I am using for the ATC holder. I think the splotches on the fabric look snowy. Then I cut out the red applique. To keep the letters facing the right way, I fused the fusible to the back, and placed  and pinned the pattern right side up on the front.  Then I cut them out.  It worked out quite easily without having to reverse anything.

I then cut out the white applique pieces and placed them on the background. I was worried that I might run out of the white fabric that I needed for the ATC holder so I chose another white for the applique.

I decided to use an embroidery stitch to applique the red background to the white background. I like how it looks like bushes from a distance and snowflakes close up.  Then I fused everything in place. I see that the apostrophe was lost in the process.

The top is done now, so I need to sandwich, quilt and finish. I will not be making a pillow. Since I used the embroidery stitch, I wanted to use some supplies so I went through my lace and chose a couple. I plan to birth this quilt like I did the house one, and am thinking about edging the hanging with one of the laces for a more finished look.

This is the stack of library books that I had to return today because they were due before I got a chance to really read them. I think other people like to read more in the winter than the summer so they request books so I can't renew them. I've been busy with work, and sick with a cold, and the streets have been icy, so some of these are overdue.

Linked to:
Off The Wall Friday 
UFO Busting #46 
Oh Scrap! - it isn't a scrappy project, but I used scraps of fabric to make it
ScrapHappy Saturday

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Lego Rails and Improv Rails

When I am cutting the scraps for the Four Rails quilt, sometimes the fabric is not long enough to cut into a 4 1/2" strip.  When that happens, I have been cutting it into whatever length rectangle I can get out of it. I sewed them together to each other so I wouldn't confuse these pieces with the rails that are just the right size. These will be subcut to 4 1/2" pieces and used as rails.

When I first started cutting these fabrics, I was disappointed with the lack of variety and pizazz in the scraps, but now that I have gotten farther into the scrap shoe box, I really like how this quilt is turning out. The scrap shoe box doesn't seem any emptier, but the scrap trash can is almost full.

Being rail happy, I am also making rails for the border of the improv rail fence quilt. I haven't decided which of rows (the rails or the triangles) should serve as the inner border and which of the rows should serve as the outer border. Today I spent time trying to figure out how to make the rails turn the corner, which is strange because I wasn't planning on doing anything special to make the triangles turn the corner.

It's been super cold here, below zero.  You can tell because Zeus, who is normally blond, turns into a redhead. It was a very short walk.  The street is really icy, and you have to go uphill to turn the corner. I'm so glad it was a holiday and I didn't have to drive in it. Zeus loves the snow though and wanted to keep going outside throughout the day.

This has been Yesterday's News, Today.

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social

Monday, January 21, 2019

Vintage Holiday

As you know, my rule for the year is to start as many quilts as I want.

I showed you this quilt pattern in a magazine on December 10. I wanted to make it, but there were other quilts I wanted to make more, and I did not want to overwhelm myself with too many projects.

Well, I did promise to make a small quilt each month, and I thought the small quilt project would be a great way to make more red and white quilts.

It snowed last night and they have been showing pictures of people sled riding on the news.

Today, I discovered that the Project Quilting challenge is to make a project with red, white, and/or blue, so I decided to meet all those things with one simple quilt.

I am using fabric, fusible applique, instead of felt. I've cut out all the red pieces and placed them, and just have to do the white pieces now. It doesn't look like a lot of pieces, but when you cut them out, there are quite a lot. I think I will quilt down the pieces instead of trying to go around each one individually.

Linked to:
Moving It Forward - to show what is slowing my progress

Sunday, January 20, 2019

15 Minutes to Stitch Weekly Recap


15 Minute to Stitch Challenge: 

Week Two

I missed posting last week, and since each week was different, I will post each week separately.  For the second week of the month, I worked on new projects. I needed to decide on my next scrap quilt so I could tame the scraps and my idea for the Butterfly Wreaths needed 5 inch squares, which is bigger than most of the scraps in the scrap box, so I also decided to work on a rail fence to use up the smaller scraps. This week was spent cutting and sewing a few pieces to make a few blocks to get started and to see if the plan seemed like it was worth pursuing.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  13 out of 13 sessions
Success Rate: 100%

Week 3

I didn't get much time to sew during the week, so I made it up on the weekend.  Yesterday, I got a scrap box and started cutting pieces for the scrap quilts. Just take the first fabric on top, and cut it to size for one of the scrap quilts. So far, I didn't get any 5 inch squares, so everything was cut for the rail fence, but maybe I'll find bigger scraps today.

I am going to use the same rule I used last year - that if I miss the 15 minutes of sewing one day, I can make it up during the week and still count it. It is snowing here, so I will be able to get even more sewing done today.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  20 out of 20 sessions
Success Rate: 100%


Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Introducing Butterfly Wreaths and Four Rails

As you know, I have planned to work on a lot of new quilts this year - not just trying to finish WIPS and UFOs but to start as many quilts as I want.  I am not going to give myself any limits and see if I can manage to stay in control without limits. The plan is to start what I want, and when I am starting to get tired of it, turn it into a quilt and call it done, no matter how small it turns out to be. The process is more important than the product.

In order to make this new process work, though, I need to make sure I document and keep track of the quilts I have started. So here are the new quilts I have started this month.

Butterfly Wreaths is a quilt that Gayle, Cathy, and Julie are making.  They each have come up with their own name and I am hoping that the name and this picture will help me remember the layout I am choosing. It will be a scrap quilt.  I really want to use scraps and make the wreath rings really stand out, but I am really not sure how to make that work.

I enjoyed making eight HSTs at one time for Sunlight in Winter, and realized I could make these HSTs the same way. Sunlight in Winter is cut 1/8th less than a whole square, so there is no trimming needed to make it fit the squares that it goes with.  Butterfly Wreaths only uses triangles so I am cutting three 5 inch squares at a time - two of the main fabric, one light and one dark.  The main fabric is paired with each of the others (one main with the light and one main with the dark) to make 8 HSTS each and then they are put together to make the blocks. I need to remember to press to the main fabric to make the seams nest. I think those butterflies can be either dark or light, but for now, I think I am going to see how I like it with just dark butterflies.

Yes this means there will be repeat blocks, but hopefully this quilt will be big enough that it won't matter. Repeat blocks might be good to add some cohesion to the quilt. And if it gets on my nerves, I might try to combine the subunits in different combinations to have more variety.

Four Rails is a rail fence quilt designed to use up my scraps.  Like my other rail fence, it will include all fabrics with no discrimination.  I will just cut and sew when the whim strikes me to make these.  It will be a kind of leader/ender project. I am hoping it takes over like the other rail fence did. This quilt will use four rails instead of three rails like my other rail fence quilt, hence the name Four Rails.  The pieces are cut 1.5 x 4.5 so they will be squares.

My plan is to use all my fabric scraps without any regard to color.  I will take a scrap, and cut as many five inch squares out of it as I can. Once it gets too small, then I will cut as many one and a half inch strips out of it as I can, and subcut them into rail fences. Once that is done, they go into the trash.

For my trash and snippet quilts, silly. You didn't think I will actually throw them away, did you?

 Today, I appreciate snow that makes everything pretty but isn't slippery.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Dust off a quilt book blog hop coming soon!

Dust off a quilt book blog hop coming soon!

Dust off a quilt book blog hop

Bea Lee at Beaquilter hosting a blog hop in February called “Dust off a Quilt Book” Blog hop. The idea is to find an old (to you) quilt book on your shelf and make something from it, it can just be that you’re inspired by it or that you make just a block from it and turn it into a small quilt or bag or mug rug, it’s really up to the individual blogger. I figured I would go ahead and share the lineup with you so you know I am official, and since I am busy making the triangles so I can show you my project on my allotted day, Tuesday. The lineup is listed on Bea's blog post.

There are a lot of books that are getting dusted off, so you might want to take your allergy medicine or put on your dust mask and be prepared.

I also wanted to share this fun video with you. You might see me making some faces this year!

Today, I am appreciating bloggers and blog hops to keep me inspired and motivated to quilt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Improv triangles

I have been cutting and sewing improv triangles for a border of the rail fence quilt. I am thoroughly enjoying the process.

Today, I am appreciating the sun and the rainbow, and my sister for telling me to go outside to see it.

Yesterday, I appreciated my coworkers for their helpful advice and for showing that they have the same concerns I do.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

15 Minutes to Stitch 2019

My original plan was to change my blog posts to Monday so I can show you 7 days of stitching this week, but Sundays are really a better day to do this, both for me, and for the other people on this challenge, so here goes this week's numbers.


15 Minute to Stitch Challenge: 

This week, I spent a lot of time cutting up pieces - for Sunlight in Winter and for the ATC holder. Earlier in the week, I also did some quilting on the drunkard path quilt. Today, I worked on a pieced border for the rail fence quilt so I can be finished in February. Once again, I am jumping back and forth from the precise piecing of the first two quilts into the improv rail fence.

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  6 out of 6
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  6 out of 6 sessions
Success Rate: 100%

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

My Plans for the Year 2019

Just a preview of things you may expect to see on this blog. It is another sunny day and although I shouldn't be making plans on sunny days because they tend to be overreaching, it is good to dream and maybe accomplish some of those dreams.

I signed up for the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop with Beaquilter. The goal is to take a book off the shelf, dust it off and make a project out of it. I already have a project I have started from a book on my shelf, and my hope is that I will be able to finish it to show you in February.  My long time reader probably knows what the quilt is, but I'll keep the new readers guessing. My day is February 19th.  February 19 is a pretty challenging deadline so it may wind up just being a quilt top instead of a finished quilt, but I am still hoping for a finished quilt.

I've also signed up with Wendy Caton Reed at the Constant Quilter to make a mini quilt every month this year. I'm not going to limit myself to just one quilt a month, and some months may not have a quilt, depending on my schedule.  I made three little quilts in December and thoroughly enjoyed it. My idea is to take all those quilt ideas floating in my head and turn them into quilts. So many times, I have seen a quilt or an idea on Pinterest, a blog, a book or a magazine, and have decided not to follow through because I worried about the commitment of finishing it and the impact it would have on my current quilts. I want to be able to make impromptu quilts and not worry so much about such things.

That's a lot of quilts and I am not used to working on quantity of quilts. I always told myself in the past it was the process and the quality that mattered more - that I should do the harder quilts instead of simpler quilts just to get them done.

The way I plan to accomplish multiple quilts is to think about the minimum I need to do to squeak by. I've never done that before, but I think I will enjoy it. It is a new form of minimalism.  Sometimes one block will be able to be a quilt. Sometimes if there is a secondary design formed by the alternating block, it might take 2 or 4 or 6 blocks to show a pattern. Sometimes if repetition is the key to the design, 6 or 12 blocks might be necessary. And of course, it won't all be quilts made with blocks.

 Today, I appreciate dreams and my imagination. Even though I can't possibly make all the quilts I image, they exist at least temporarily in my mind, and just the idea of them is enjoyable.

Linked to:
Moving it Forward - I will be moving a lot of projects forward this year!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Another Sunny Winter Day

It was another pretty day today and the sun was out.  Today, I appreciate the sun and the birds.

I spent time cutting out more fabric - yellow and black.  I'm not used to doing this much cutting at a time, but the sun is out so I don't mind. It will make the sewing part quicker.

I also appreciate the library for the friendly staff, and all the inspiration, knowledge, and pretty pictures I can find in their books.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sunlight in Winter

Today, I am appreciating that the sun is shining.  It puts an extra bounce in my step, and the fact that it is Friday today, I have the weekend off, and the party music is already playing, has me practically dancing!

In case you missed it, I am making the Garden Mosaic quilt. I will be making mine all in yellow and white. It only has 16 blocks and is made up of these cute little blocks. I've already more than 16 of these cute blocks, but the people who have made this quilt before me have told me I needed more than 16 of these babies, so I guess I will make a few more. I have the pattern and still have fabric left over. I used up this yellow fabric - it was a remnant that was more than half yard, less than a yard. I have moved on to the next yellow fabric.

I really like piecing multitudes of blocks when I am excited to see how it will turn out!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 Calendar

I promised you yesterday that I would show you my 2019 calendar.  I did the same thing I did in years past to make the calendar - grab some random photos of my quilts and throw them in there and make some minor tweaks before calling it done.  Since it is just for me, it doesn't have to be perfect.

I think this picture was easily accessible because I used it in a previous calendar. Looking at the Trip Around the World quilt, the border isn't that wide, so I think I will be able to quilt this and call it done without needing to add any applique.

The template said 2018 so I had to take out the 8 and I couldn't find the right font for the 9, but I like it this way. I like this 9 better than the 9 they used in the rest of the calendar, so even if I had found the font, I wouldn't have used it.

Another unfinished quilt. See the 9? It looks like a g.

A finished quilt! It was made from swapped blocks.

This one is my favorite layout. I like how Rey and BB8 are ready for new adventures. I usually try to get the largest picture possible, but this one looks good even smaller.

I kept the wording in the template and they make me giggle paired with the quilts. I guess I do share some perfect moments with my quilts. I do appreciate my time with my quilts.

I like this layout a lot too, with the llama love.

This is my least favorite layout because of all that empty space. I should have put the LOVE graphic on the bottom. I can fix it by adding a real photograph or something else there,  so it isn't a big deal.

Another unfinished quilt, but I like how this page turned out.

This one is all right, but I should have centered the quilt. I like the welcome sign there but it really isn't clear what it is.

This one makes me giggle too. Family time shown under a bed.

This page had me scrambling for more pictures. I thought about changing the layout to one that didn't use as many, but then I figured I like to showcase more quilts. They don't match each other and are just thrown in there willy nilly, but I think it is all right.

This one is sweet. Probably would have been nicer on my daughter's birth month, but I do like the layout of the page.

This is the only one that had a season written on it. This one is okay too, I like how the graphic highlights this unfinished quilt.

365 Days of Appreciation

Today, I appreciate spices.  Yesterday, I made Lancashire hot-pot recipe. I didn't follow the recipe exactly but it turned out really nicely. It isn't a spicy dish, but I like how a change in spices can add so much variety to my meals.

I also appreciate all the people who make it possible for me to get food. The farmers, the distributors, the packagers, the transportation people, and all the people at the grocery store.

Linked to:
Off the Wall Friday - even though technically, I am putting it on the wal.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

365 Days of Appreciation

Let's see if I can show 365 Days of Appreciation. I thought about finding just one thing to appreciate, so I would have enough throughout the year, but I have decided that there is nothing wrong with appreciating more than one thing a day, and nothing wrong with appreciating the same thing more than once.

Day 1

I already missed posting yesterday, but yesterday, I appreciated:

  1. Zeus - he keeps me on schedule and makes sure I get my exercise every day and that I eat on time.
  2. Day Off - I appreciated having a day off to start following my resolutions - not that I made any, but I did try to clean, exercise and eat healthy.

Day 2: 

Today, I appreciate the people who work in the background and magically make my life more convenient:
  1. The mail carrier who brings me my mail every day. I especially like that she brought me my Shutterfly calendar today. I'll show you the calendar tomorrow when the sun is out when I can take better pictures of it.
  2. The Shutterfly who printed my order, and the people who told me about the free calendar.
  3. The people who bring the electricity and the internet so I could order the calendar and share it with you.
  4. The people who picked up the yard trash, the recycling and the trash. The schedule motivates me to fill up those cans and my house is better for it.