Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My Favorite Pictures from March: Signs of Spring

Once a month, if I get around to it, I try to show you my favorite photos I have taken during the month.  As we went for our walk today, I looked out for signs of spring. Here are my photos of this month. A lot of them were taken today.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

We Can Get Through Anything

When I mentioned that this block made me think of coronavirus and how this block may provide historical context to the quilt as well as being uplifting to future quilt viewers, my blog readers convinced me to add my thoughts to the quilt. "If we can get through corona virus, we can get through anything."

It was my last week of work and I don't expect much work from this employer for the rest of 2020.  It's been raining and storming at night, which means I have to sleep on the couch to keep Zeus company since he can't make it up and down the steps.  Sleeping on the couch and comforting Zeus means my sleep is interrupted and I have aches and pains during the day. I felt sleep-deprived pretty much all week. Plus, it is rainy and dreary during the day, which didn't help with the energy level.

I embroidered this while watching television. I started at the end and did "anything" first. Then I did the line above it, "we can get through". I had to take out stitches and add them back three times before it finally fit. Then I did the first line, which also didn't work out as centered as I planned.

My initial thought was to take out everything, actually plan it and mark it before stitching again, but I think this jumbled crowded mess of letters is appropriate for the coronavirus pandemic.  There are too many letters to fit nicely into the block, and planning would have helped us get through it easier, but (I hope), we manage to do it.

Since that is all the progress I made on this quilt, here's another picture to show you another quote.

Today, there are blue skies and magnolia blooms.

2020:  Week 13 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I worked on the quote quilt this week. Besides the quote I showed you, I used leftover floss to add some seam treatments.

 For April, I will continue to work on the quote quilt, but I will also make a mini quilt so you will have something else to look at.

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 89 out of 89 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch Week 13 
Design Wall Monday 
Friday Foto Fun

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quote Quilt Progress

Sometimes I hesitate to post a midweek progress post, in case there isn't anything picture-worthy to post at the end of the week. I hesitated this week too, but I have plenty more to show you that I added to the quote quilt during the second half of the week.

This elephant comes from a fabric that I purchased myself. It is probably the only fabric I have ever bought for myself that was bought at full price.   I have heard of the philosophy that instead of buying lots of things on sale, you should buy that one special thing that brings your heart joy, even if you pay more for it.  I waited for months for it to go on sale, and it never did, so finally I decided to go ahead and buy it anyway while it was still available.

This gray fabric is from the Maximalist quilt. It makes me happy to see fabric from other quilts in this one. Many of the blue fabrics are from my other quilts too - the ones that weren't made by other people.

In my last post, I said I was using broderie perse.  While it is technically true, I think of broderie perse as a collage of motifs that form their own, new motif. This flowerpot is made from three different pieces of fabric.

Here are the leaves I have added to this tree thus far.  There are probably enough leaves, but I might still add more.

Since I had the quilt outside to take the photos, I am showing you a full photo. The top is on the left side so you will have to turn your head to see it. Those white blobs on top of and underneath the elephant are drawings of new motifs that I plan to add in those places.

Waterfront Property

2020:  Week 12 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

We had a lot of flooding this week due to heavy rain.  Many roads were closed, some were damaged, and some people in a nearby town were evacuated.  Many of my neighbors reported water in their basements. My backyard was flooded but there was only a small trickle of water in the basement. Water did get into the garage, but most things are stored off the floor so it should be all right.

That orange stuff in the picture, because I was wondering, are flowers that fell from the neighbor's maple tree.

On the employment front, there is a strong probability that the project I am working on will be cancelled or delayed. We continued to work on getting everything set up for the busy period.  On Friday, we got a notice that there isn't any new information, but I have a feeling that there will be a notice on Monday, or that there might already be a notice in my work email.

Two of my family members have already been laid off, and two of them have been sent home to  school from home.

As I write this, the Ohio governor has just enacted a stay at home order, which tightens the restrictions even further, which means even more of the family are laid off.

I worked on the quote quilt this week.

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 82 out of 82 days
Success rate  = 100%

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Broderie Perse on Quote Quilt

How are you? I hope you are doing well.

I am fine, and following the guidelines of social distancing. I have family members who have been sent home without work, while I continue to work from home.

Working on the quote quilt during this time of quarantine was a better idea than I knew when I made that decision.
  1.  It has quotes that are meant to make the viewer (me) feel better. 
  2. Looking for motifs and comforting ideas to add to the quilt makes me focus on comforting things.
  3. Although I will probably keep this quilt, it keeps my focus on someone else instead of the current situation (potentially future me, other future quilt owners such as descendants). 
  4. The slow stitching also calms the pace and comforts me and keeps me busy.
  5. It gives me something to do while I stay away from everyone else.

 I cut out some motifs from recently purchased fabric to add to the quote quilt, even though it doesn't actually go with the adding stories goal I mentioned last week. I added this because I liked the design but now that it is here, I think this is a good subtle hint of the history of the quilt. Hopefully by the time it is finished, we will be through the corona virus ordeal and it will serve as a reminder that we got through it."If we can get through the corona virus, we can get through anything."

This might be a good block to add the start and end dates. 

I don't think elephants are calming. In fact, I watched a movie that showed some African children running through an area to avoid being trampled by elephants.  This fabric was given to me by my sister and it makes me think of her, and our entire family heritage, so it is comforting to  me. This elephant is obviously a gentle elephant since she allowed all these decorations to be put on her.

Those quick motifs were to give me a break from working on the tree. I added some more branches, and although this picture doesn't show it, I have started adding the leaves on the tree.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Quote Quilt Stories

Hello welcome back! I am sure you are here for the latest update on the Inspirational Quote Crazy Quilt.  In our last post, I showed you how I used some markers to color in a stamp on the quilt. This week, I decided to add some Inktense pencils. It was a simple matter of adding some color to the tiny bits that would be too tedious to embroider. The petals on the small flower are so tiny that one little dab of the pencil and the whole flower has a color.

Then I got the bright idea of writing over the "thinking of you" in green. The pencil was too thick and it was difficult to read. After a while, I decided to wash it out.  If I could blend in the green throughout the block, the green would then become a background color and the words could still be seen. So I poured a capful of water over the words and blended it out.

Now that the background was green, I decided to use this space to add a tree. I was going to add a tree anyway, based on a tutorial I saw on YouTube by Dances with Pitbulls. In this picture you see the start of a tree. I am going to add some more to the trunk so it stands straighter and sew down the rest of the branches. This involves threading a needle through each of the strands of floss. I will also be adding leaves and other things to the tree.

Most crazy quilters show blocks after the block is finished. I can't do that since I am not working on whole blocks, but I do like to show you a finished motif at least. This explains why there wasn't a post last week. Nothing picture worthy to show you as everything was in process. Better to spend my time in making something picture worthy than to write a blog post.

The reason progress on the tree was slowed down is because of the picture on the left that was shared on Facebook because of International Women's Day. That lady needed to be on my quilt! I decided to make her using stumpwork based on Queenie's tutorial.  I have her face and arms done. I was going to make the little quilt when I remembered that I already have something that might work, so it is a matter of remembering where I put it.

So yet another unfinished motif. But both of them are a bit more substantial than they were last week and I don't want to keep you waiting. Since you are probably quarantined, you need something to read and make fun of.

This lady though has changed the direction of the quilt a little bit. I like the idea of putting stories in the quilt. Instead of a face, I could add a person doing something calming or relaxing. Instead of a flower, a sprig of flowers reminds the viewer of a time when they received a sprig of flowers, which is likely to be a happy memory.  The tree makes me think of strength, but if I add a swing on the branch, then there is more of a story.

2020:  Week 11 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I haven't kept up on my weekly posting so I don't know how long the time period is, but I have quilted every week this year. For a few weeks, I have been watching TV on Tuesdays (Finding Your Roots, This is Us and New Amsterdam), and quilt while I watch. In the recent weeks, most of my time has been spent on the Inspirational Quote Crazy Quilt.

This means I can get a whole week of quilting in one day.  Since I was able to work on the quilt this Tuesday, I can report my results early even though my quilting week ends on Sunday. I will probably do some quilting Sunday too, since there is no maximum time.

My time is getting more limited, so I haven't been able to post as much. It will continue to get more limited for a few months depending on the work situation. There is a strong probability that the project I am working on could be cancelled or delayed.

15 minute days this week -- 100%
15 minute days this year -- 75 out of 75 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
UFO Busting 
15 Minutes to Stitch

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Quote Quilt Goes to Kindegarten

I follow Cheri Payne's Facebook group and really enjoy seeing all the beautiful primitive quilts that are made from her designs.  When someone posted a quilt that had an alphabet on it, I remembered it was something I wanted to do. A great way to do that without starting a whole new quilt is to add it to the quote quilt.  I added the book last week and this seemed like a good place to add the alphabet. The perspective was great in the drawing of the book but I didn't translate it well in fabric. I still think it looks like a book and the letters nearby should help identify it if it doesn't.

I added the alphabet today. I didn't measure it out so was very lucky that it fits exactly.

Jenny of Elephanz gave her newsletter subscribers an  embroidery pattern as a going away present. Breathe deep and let go.  I decided to put it on a neutral background and add the background to the quilt. The beige background is pretty noticeable on the quilt since the quilt is blue and cream, not beige.  I positioned the applique to make sure there was a bit of each of the triangles showing since they was a part of the quote block and shows the choices of the swappers.

Beside it, you see a stamp that a swapper used as her quote. I embroidered the big flowers but didn't think I could do much with the rest of it until I remembered that I had some Inktense color pencils which I had bought for use on fabric. I think it dries permanently.

Crazy quilts aren't supposed to be washed. This is freeing, because it allows me the freedom to add color pencils without testing them first, but it is also scary because it means I have to be careful not to get the quilt dirty as I work on it.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Some Progress on Fancy Squares and Quote Quilt

I added some trim to the intersections of Fancy Squares quilt.  This is the same trim that was used in Maximalist and the Inspirational Quote crazy quilt.  I was worried that the trim might be too big and might take away the pattern, but I like the way it looks.  Now I have to figure out how to do the edges. I might add a binding, but I am hoping to find some kind of trim.

I added the fusible to the back of the Inspirational Quote crazy quilt. It is Pellon fusible fleece. I am hoping that it doesn't add too much bulk that makes it difficult to reach the middle of the quilt, but so far it is okay. As a bonus, that means the quilt was pressed again. I have to wrinkle it to reach the part I am embroidering, and all the wrinkles were bothering me. I will probably be pressing it more, but that has a bonus too - the quotes are going to be thoroughly heat set.

From this distance, it is hard to see that there is embroidery on this quilt.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My Favorite Photos from February

I usually don't have enough photos to share in February, but since we had gone to the park for the photo shoot / quilt exhibit, I do have enough to share this month. Not all of the photos were taken at the park. Some were taken in the neighborhood.

I have also included my 15 minutes to stitch this week at the bottom of the post.


2020:  Week 9 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I worked on the March mini quilt this week and the Inspirational Quote Crazy Quilt.

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7 days
15 minute days this year -- 7 out of 54 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
Life in Pieces: 15 Minutes to Stitch

Monday, March 2, 2020

Quilt Reveal: Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop

Hello! Welcome to Dust Off an Old Quilt Book Blog Hop!

Once upon a time, I went out to dinner with two other people. The restaurant was in a shopping center, and as we were walking back to the car, there was a thrift store in the center that pulled me in magnetically.  The others in my party had no choice but to follow me in.  The magnet drew me straight to the books section where I found this publication.  I was so thrilled with finding two publications with patterns I had not seen before. The other people in the party wondered why I would want a dusty old booklet when I could buy a new one.  I told them that there were patterns that you did not find in new books. Patterns that involved templates and methods that weren't used any more.

I was excited about this find, but I didn't make anything out of either of the publications.  But when Bea told me to dust off an old book, the time had come.

How old is it? Let's see, it is copyright 1978. I do have older books, but this one is old enough for me!

Do you remember the denim cathedral windows quilt I showed you in a previous post? The concept is similar.  You cut a shape, which this book calls a pocket, and wrap it around another fabric that the book calls a pillow.  The book tells you to cut a lining fabric as well as the pocket so that you do not have any raw edges. Both this quilt and the cathedral windows have batting squares underneath the fabric squares.

I decided to use the same fabric for the shape and the lining, so cut 18 of these shapes, figuring that nine blocks would make for a good small size quilt.

The booklet has many choices of shapes to cut, and I chose this one. It looked more intricate than the others. It wasn't a good choice for my first project. I had the same trouble I had when I made the cathedral windows quilt.

The pocket encloses the pillow. Sew the pockets together, fold down the pockets over the pillows, then sew down into place.

Then a thought occurred to me.  "A smart person would make this raw edge." I'm not sure I am a smart person, but I am a lazy person and the solution works for me.  Since the denim cathedral windows is made raw edge, I decided to modernize this pattern by using raw edge.  I am making enough pockets for the yo-yo quilt, and do not want to make any more. In 1978, there would have been shame and humiliation in showing raw edges. But it is 2020 now, and there is no such thing as shame and humiliation.

Do you see a problem yet?  Those corners are very finicky and have to be sewn down exactly right. Too loose and the batting shows in the corners, too tight and the center square is not aligned properly.  I thought about using glue to baste them down.

Although the pattern is for a full size quilt, I think nine blocks would be good and look like the picture. But I had cut 18 shapes, so I decided to make mine bigger to use more of those shapes. A 4 x 4 instead of a 3 x 3 grid.

I sewed the blocks together, and layered the batting and pillow fabric.  I used enough pins to maim a small adult.

I have sewn a lot of these shapes down, but time slipped away from me and I did not finish by the time I went to bed on March first.  I had the option of waiting to post this until I finished or to show you my progress so far. So I am showing you my progress and will edit this post later today to show you the finished quilt.

Warning! I am going to show you the finished quilt  now. When I took it outside to photograph, the birds stopped singing and it became very quiet. This is your warning that you may lose your ability to speak for the rest of the day if you look at this quilt full on.  I recommend getting on a galloping horse, scrolling by as fast as you can and only use your peripheral vision to look at the quilt.

Are you all right? It's over now.  Each block had to have four passes of quilting to sew down the ovals. I did it in diagonal rows, down one way, flip it around and go back the other side of the oval. Finish all the rows, and then go down the other side to the other diagonal. And then back to finish the other side of the oval on that diagonal.  I will probably be adding some ribbon or trim to cover up the intersections and edges, but I don't have the proper ribbon or trim right now.

I think it looks all right from a galloping horse. It is supposed to have a casual, improv look to it.

I told you earlier that we don't feel shame in 2020.  That's not really true.  I can't really call myself a properly smart or even lazy person. A smart or lazy person would have still made that quilt as a nine patch or maybe even a one patch. A truly smart or lazy person would have used the other book I got at the same sale and made a simple nine patch or four patch.

That book was made in 1935.

Thank you, Bea, for allowing me to participate in the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop.

Please visit the other participants of the blog hop to see which book they have dusted off.

Here are the links to the other bloggers participating in the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop – do click on their links, check out their books and projects, and leave them a comment or two!

March 2
March 3
March 4
March 5
March 6
Also be sure to visit Bea's Blog, Beaquilter.https://www.beaquilter.com/2020/03/dust-off-an-old-book-blog-hop-day-1.html  She has lots of opportunities for fun prizes. Thank you, Bea, for the opportunity to participate in this blog hop.