Sunday, February 21, 2021

My Quilting Week



I've made a lot of progress this week, fifteen minutes at a time. The Dust off An Old Book Blog hop is happening again this year, and I have signed up. This year, I decided to dust off my oldest quilt book The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America.  There are plenty of quilts I want to make in this book, but since I have limited time, I want to make a one block quilt, and decided that applique would be easier.

I chose a design, and had to dust off another book to get the pattern. The Folk Art Quilts book has the pattern. Luckily it only took one false attempt to find it. I should get extra credit for dusting off two old books.

The bulk of my time on this quilt has been spent in thinking and rethinking the fabric selection. I am using the oak leaf and reel pattern. I was going to use the yellow/orange for the leaves and use the blue for the background. I then decided to reverse it and make the leaves in blue and use the orange for the background. Then I thought about making it more modern with blue leaves on a white background. Then I saw the blue leaves sitting on the orange background with the sun streaming on it, and right now I am going back to that choice. I can choose my own definition of modern.

I decided not to participate in this week's Project Quilting challenge. I needed to choose between the snails trail challenge and the old book because I don't think I could get both of them done, and chose the old book which isn't due until March.

I don't know if you noticed that the books and fabric were sitting on the shirts quilt. I hand stitched the batting on the quilt and pressed the extra row and the backing piece. Now I am making sure the sandwich is flat. I have been smoothing it, pinning it. Then turning it over to make sure the other side is smooth, fixing anything, and then turning it over again., It is working out fine, but when you work on it 15 minutes at a time, and work on other projects too, it looks like slow progress.

The picture makes it look lumpier than it is, but I do want to do some more smoothing before I start quilting it.

Last but not least, I made some more stitcheries. I just need to trim these, add the backing and stitch around the edges. I find that the outline stitching works best as a group, assembly style, and keeping them together keeps them from getting lost. The hardest part about making these is to remember to transfer the design to the right side of the fabric and not the wrong side.

2021:  Weeks 8 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


I was able to find the spot in the fence where the cats were entering my yard and block it, so now I can feed the birds again without endangering them. With all the snow we've had, they were very hungry.

My quilting time has diminished this week, but I did manage to spread it out with three different projects as I showed you already.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 52 out of 52 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch



Sunday, February 14, 2021

Beautiful World and 15 Minutes a Day Report

 I made these little Beautiful World quilts this week. I still need to finish off the edges for the four on the bottom.

2021:  Weeks 7 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


The impeachment trial was this week. Stitching these inchies gave me something I could do that was productive and calming. is giving free access this weekend, which that also takes up some unexpected time. I also ran some errands ahead of the 6-12 inches of snow we are expecting. Our street hasn't been cleared of snow from the last time it snowed, but the main roads are clear.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 45 out of 45 days
Success rate  = 100%
Don't be too impressed with my 100%. I was at that rate this time last year too.  When the slide comes, it happens pretty quickly.

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15 Minutes to Stitch


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Beautiful World Daily Inchies

Crabapple Hill Studio is offering a stitch-along on the Facebook page. There are a bunch of small sweet patterns like this one, and in the end, the pattern calls for these to be glued to a canvas. There is a free pattern on their website. Some of them include adding some color to the stitchery. Since they have backing and batting, they are little quilts.


I decided to add the lace to this one. If we make one a day, we will be done in February. I started late so I will have to see if I can catch up.

I've only made two so far. I cleaned up my bulletin board so it can serve as my background for conference calls.

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Off the Wall Friday

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Quilt Reveal: Visit India

This is my third quilt for this year's Project Quilting Challenge. This week's theme is Virtual Vacation.

I have some fun fabrics that I wanted to use, and they would allow me to make the quilt without a lot of embellishment. I found a photo I liked, and since the letters are somewhat small, I decided to use fusible applique. In the last two challenges, I pinned the pieces and sewed them down without using fusible. I liked the surprises that get formed when I don't use a fusible.  I also like not having to spend money on fusible, going upstairs to get the fusible, thinking it through to make sure everything doesn't wind up wrong side up, and taking the time to press it. But it does serve its purpose in keeping things secure.


I flipped the photo upside down, and traced it on the fusible, cut it out, and pressed it on the background. This means that this time everything was in the right direction and you could read the word. I made a sandwich, sewed around the edges and turned it right side out. I had put everything in the right order so it looked like a quilt when I turned it out. I then used a fancy embroidery stitch to secure the edges. The only problem I had in making this quilt is that I ran out of bobbin thread along the way, but it is a casual quilt, so I am not worried that the embroidery isn't perfect. I don't know how to properly join embroidery stitches.


I then used a zigzag to sew around all the applique.  The green arch is to remind you of the flag colors.


I fussy cut the fabric for the elephant; too bad I can't back date it to apply it to last week's "fussy cut" challenge too! The elephant fabric is from the outdoor fabric aisle at Joanns. I think you are supposed to make cushions for your lawn furniture from it. I am planning on making a curtain with it. It is one piece for the entire body. There is no elephant in the fabric, but it looks like it was made specifically for this elephant. I also brought down the red fabric from the name down to the elephant for the eye.  

The banner and eyebrow pieces were cuttings that insisted on being in the quilt. I sewed them on this morning. I woke up in a philosophical mood, and I think this quilt represents the colors of a country. Each country (the red in the name) colors the environment (banner) and also colors the way the people see the world (eye). It isn't like glasses you can take on and off. It persists.

2021:  Weeks 6 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

 My work is going to start again soon. This means I have to get ready. I need to get back to doing tasks on a schedule and increasing my activity level to help me ramp up to working 40+ hours again after no work.

Besides clearing out the desk space, I also clean as much as possible, so that when things slide, they don't go down too far. I double my recipes and freeze half in serving size containers. Catch up on the chores I have been meaning to do. (I made another mask with a 3-D template. It turned out well.)

I also try to finish the (harder, time-consuming) steps I am working on in my quilts since progress will become slower.

Mostly though, I try to double up on my fun.  Watching those movies and quilting up a storm.

My first goal was to get the shirts quilt done.  This is a queen size quilt that seems too short, after it had already been quilted. Last week, I sewed the extra row on it. This week, I pieced and sewed the addition to the backing. That worked out well.

I then pieced the batting and sewed it on with a walking foot, but the new piece came out to be short,  even though I had measured it first. On examination, I can see that the new piece is wavy, like a skirt. I cut it out and pinned it, and it is the right size. I started to sew it again, and it is still wavy. The quilt has been given a time out until it learns to behave.  I have a plan to lay it flat on the floor and tack the batting down by hand.

In the meantime, the new Project Quilting challenge has been announced. I wasn't going to do it this week, but since I have to double up on my fun, I just had to do it. The challenge is Virtual Vacation. It is snowy and cold. The streets are icy, so I can't even go out for walks with Zeus. I need a get away. I also needed another elephant quilt to add to my elephant quilt collection.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 38 out of 38 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch

Table Scraps

The quilt measures 9 1/2" x 12".

Monday, February 1, 2021

15 Minutes to Stitch Weekly Recap



There aren't any pretty quilt photos to show you this week, but I think this beautiful sky shot will suffice.  It was taken earlier in January. We got about three inches of snow yesterday and the snow is falling again today. It is beautiful, but we don't walk when it is slippery anymore to protect Zeus.

 I have been trying to bullet journal.  I mostly started because I have seen a lot of beautiful bullet journals on Youtube and I really liked the art. I am sure you will get quite a laugh out of my dinosaurs. I know I did. 

This is my habit tracker. I like these the best because it helps me keep track of my daily quilting, but I added a whole bunch of other trackers too. I started this in December and didn't keep track in January so this is for the last week of January and all of February. I figured if I added a lot of things, I would be more likely to check in at the end of each day. I don't expect to get them all filled in every day. 

I've always thought it would be a good idea to put all my notes in one place, and this book will help do that.

Bullet journaling is about productivity and living a life of purpose.  I waver back and forth in extremes about whether I want to plan my life or be more flexible. Now I am reading Ryder Caroll's book and it is very inspiring.

2021:  Weeks 5 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

This week, I set up the Opal for adding on to the shirts quilt. I had to clear off the sewing table, get the extension table from storage and put on the walking foot and thread, etc. 
I sewed on the additional row on the shirts quilt. I safety pinned it to the quilt so it will stay safely out of the way as I work on the other two layers. I want this extra row to look like the others, with no sashing so I didn't quilt it before adding to the quilt. One day, I will make a small quilt using the potholder method of joining blocks so I will learn how to do it, but I didn't want to do that with this quilt.
I trimmed the backing fabric so it is a straight line. I will be trimming it a little bit more because I really like the new backing fabric I chose. If the additional fabric is bigger than a sliver, then it won't look like an afterthought or a mistake. 

I also cut the fusible fleece and backing for the Quote Quilt to size and pressed the fusible to the backing. I want to get the Quilting Lady properly in place before I baste the front to back of that quilt. It is tempting to add more history to the quilt, but I have decided the history has to end at 2020. I will probably be add some more applique to the quilt, but I can add them after the quilt is sandwiched.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 31 out of 31 days
Success rate  = 100%
If you look at the habit tracker, you may say that I didn't quilt all 7 days, but I allow myself to make up for missed time in this 15 minutes tracker, as long as it is during the same week. I have to do this because when I work, there are times when there is a lot of overtime, and it didn't seem fair to me to punish myself for not having time to quilt. Plus, if I tried to quilt when I should have been sleeping, I would hurt myself or make mistakes, and be tired the next day.

This week, there were big tasks that took more than 15 minutes and I took that extra time on some days. The other days, I took the extra time other projects needed.
The habit tracker is helping me to try to get me to do it every day. Hopefully on the days I am not working overtime, I can get better about quilting every day.

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch