Sunday, January 30, 2022

2022: Week 5: 15 Minutes to Stitch

I started to cut the scraps from Lansing Leaves to use in the Postage Stamp quilt, but I decided that I didn't want that much orange in that quilt. I spent the week piecing the Lansing Leaves scrap for the backing. There isn't any room to store any more scraps so I need to use them up.  Normally I try to make a generation quilt, but this time, the next generation will be the back. At least this will keep the baby grandchild quilt from being born before the parent quilt as so frequently happens here. The baby was born first with Project Quilting last week, Flight.
I have been enjoying piecing the back. Just joining the scraps based on their size. I had tried this before with a utility quilt that gave me trouble, but I think I must have been trying to make sure everything was balanced and cohesive.

I have found that I have trouble when I am trying to make one piece, and adding to it, like the first Project Quilting piece I did this year. Even though I used Postage Stamp as a leader and ender, I found it to be a constant interruption in working on the one piece, since the stamp had to be every other thing I pushed through the machine. For this back, I am piecing two parts of the backing at a time that will eventually be joined together. It feels like less interruption to keep one train of thought.

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 5

I had a solid week of quilting again this week. Besides piecing the back, I went through a bunch of craft magazines to donate. Those blocks in the photo are from the orphan box - they were rejects from Life of Plenty and I think they will fit in perfectly here.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 30 out of 30 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch

Oh Scrap

2022: More Finishes Than Starts

 There haven't been any changes in this chart, so I didn't update the date. But since I have made so much progress on Lansing Leaves, I am closer to having more finishes than starts for 2022.

If you are interested in bright, colorful crochet, Lucy at Attic24 always shows lots of beautiful photos and free patterns. I don't crochet, and I still really enjoy looking at her blog posts.

If you are used in learning how to use repurposed textiles in quilts, Rhonda Cox Dort offers lots of information on her blog, including beautiful free patterns and free classes.

StoryGraph turns your book reading into beautiful graphs. It analyzes your reading to find patterns and reading preferences and offers suggestion. It looks like an alternative to Goodreads.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Week 4: 15 Minutes to Stitch


It has been below freezing a lot of this week, and although I generally walk unless it is below zero, I took a break this week. We had snow and I didn't want my dog Zeus to slip and slide on the street with his hip trouble. He did not insist on walking, and was happy to spend time out in the back yard. He enjoys the cold.

This means I didn't take a lot of pictures, so I found an old one from 2009.

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 4

I had a solid week of quilting this week. I made the Project Quilting challenge quilt which I showed you in my last post, Flight. 

The borders I added to Lansing Leaves last week didn't pass quality inspection, so I ripped out a couple of small sections and sewed the entire borders again. I pressed them and sized up the last two borders. I added one, and it didn't pass quality inspection either. It had a tension issue after I refilled the bobbin so it got a second seam too. The last border passed quality inspection, but I was tempted to reinforce it too since all the other ones did.

I am declaring it done, even though I still need to press the last two borders. Since I have the backing and binding fabric chosen (they were in the drawer), I think I will continue on with this quilt so I can get a finish.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 23 out of 23 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch

2022: More Finishes Than Starts

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Quilt Reveal: Flight


I tried to avoid temptation by not looking to see what the challenge for Project Quilting was for this week. I want to finish a quilt.

But I won a prize from Project Quilting last week, and I accidentally copied and pasted my 15-minutes-to-stitch stats last week without deleting the sentence that said I was working on the Project Quilting challenge. So what else could I do? I had to take a peek to see how hard it would be do do.

The challenge seems easy enough - silhouette. 

Birds learn how to fly, never knowing where the flight will take them.” -Mark Nepo


 I had some black fused fabric left over from the Halloween House quilt when I realized that I didn't need half of the tree that was going to be cut off the edge of the quilt. I could just slap it on some fabric and call it done.

The more I look at the picture above, the more I like it. But I was worried that it would make me look lazy. I wanted to make something where I could be lazy, but not look like I was lazy. I think it would probably require match stick quilting, and I don't want to take the time to do that.

I didn't want to take too much time to look for a background, so I decided to use the scraps from Lansing Leaves. I really like the way the bird looks on this fabric.

Then I realized that the whole piece looked like a kimono. Mary Fons was talking about the time period where quilters made a lot of kimono quilts. Why was there an obsession about kimono quilts? Was there an Olympics in Japan in the 70s, 80s or 90s that started the rage?

I decided to go with the kimono, so I folded it in half and cut so both sides would be somewhat symmetrical. It looks more like a dress than a kimono. Once I decided this was going to be a dress, I liked the bird on the top and not on the skirt part.

I had just thrown the fabric on top of the yellow fabric and I liked how it looked so I sewed it on. My girl is modest so the bottom of her dress needs to be closer to her knees.

To make it quick, I knew I wanted to birth the quilt. So I sandwiched it and sewed all around the shape. If you look carefully, you can see I made a slice where the bird will be since I need it a place to turn it right side out. I love that I could do this because I have a hard time keeping the edges neat when I have to close off an opening.

The batting was exactly the right size, and wasn't big enough to fill the entire quilt, but the missing parts are in the seam allowance so I don't think it will matter.

I had to be careful when turning the quilt right side out to avoid tearing the small cut that I had made, but as you can see, I was able to do it.


I poked out the corners, straightened out the opening, and pressed it flat. Here you can see that I had sewn in a piece for the neckline.


Finally, I added the bird. I quilted in the ditch, and sewed the bird and sun down.

So far this year, I have started two quilts and have finished two quilts, so although I don't have more finishes than starts yet, I don't have to play any catch up.

Linked with:

Peacock Party

Finished Or Not Friday

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Next Edition of Lansing Leaves

 In case you missed the story, I went across state lines and stayed in a hotel room for a month. That is where Lansing Leaves was born. Apparently, like Las Vegas, what happens in Michigan, stays in Michigan. So I have no idea the purpose of this piece that was in the drawer. 


Was I planning on putting this quilt on point? And if so, why is there only one of these? Shouldn't there be four since there are four corners in a quilt? What was I planning on using on the sides to make it big enough to put on point? Is there enough fabric for this plan?

Maybe it is good that I don't know. Current Me has vetoed the idea of putting it on point. Although I should look in the drawer again to make sure I don't have missing pieces.

What was the plan for these triangles? They are the same size as the background triangles on the migrating geese. Were they just rejects before I came up with the background fabric, or was there another plan?

Why did I keep sewing the migrating geese as I found there wasn't enough contrast? Did I have a plan for that?

Some of my quilts are very choosy. "I don't care if that blue matches, I don't want it." This one is happy with whatever I do. "Not enough contrast, no problem. Do what you feel is best." So annoying. Usually when that happens, the quilt becomes subject to the whims of whatever I see on my social media feed. Medallion quilt? Sounds good. Migrating geese?. Sure.  On point? Yep. Applique? Hmmm

I have added most of the extra migrating geese pieces that were available to make all the rows the same size. I ripped the last four geese pieces and used the background fabric to finish off the rows. Debra suggested I add the sewn migrating geese without adding more geese and fill in with a solid piece. This is a great plan because I don't have a lot of background pieces to add more geese. I do have a big piece left but I want to use it for the back.

Once I finished off the migrating geese and trimmed the dog ears, it looks much better to me, and it looks like it might work okay on the quilt. 

I don't have enough background fabric for the cornerstones and remaining border, so I used the scraps that I had available. I really like the extra zing they give to that border. I have added two of the sides and hope to add the other two soon.

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 3

This year, I would like to have noticeably more finishes than starts, and starting a new quilt is probably not the best way to get that result. But the Project Quilting challenge is posted, and since it forces you to finish a quilt in a week, it won't be counter-productive to that goal. As you saw at the top of this post, I worked on the borders of Lansing Leaves this week.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 16 out of 16 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch

Friday, January 14, 2022

Lansing Leaves Continued

There are drawers in the desk where the sewing machine sits. These drawers store the supplies - threads, rotary cutter, mat, iron, and other things I need. I took inventory of what is in the drawers so I can declutter and organize. 

I found two projects I had put away when there was room in the drawers.

I found Lansing Leaves and Elephant Parade. I put both of them in the WIP drawers for now to see if I can make some progress on them. I might switch them out with other projects, depending on my whims.

For Lansing Leaves, there is the quilt square, some migrating geese units that is mean to be another border, and some fabric. There were no directions or notes, but I think I can figure out how to make the rest of the geese.

I think the reason this quilt got stalled is that the geese don't have a lot of contrast and I am not sure they make the quilt any better. My choices are:

  • stick with the plan and finish the quilt
  • quilt the square and save the geese for another quilt. They might work better as a background instead of a border

Now as I am typing, I think I could finish making the geese, attach them to the quilt and, if needed, attach a vine or something on top,

I don't want to spend a lot of time on this quilt. I will try to add some geese and see if I have enough fabric and can figure out what size to cut the triangles to continue.

All of the work on this quilt was done in 2014. You can read the whole story by reading all the Lansing Leaves posts here.

Linked with:

Monday Making

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Quilt Reveal: Pink and Other Colors

Announcing the first finished quilt of the year, at least here on the High Road. It is a part of Project Quilting challenge, which means it had to be made in a week. I have already told you the inspiration of this quilt in another post.

I started with a pink scrap and added more pink scraps for the stack. I soon realized that I don't use a lot of pink, so I was very liberal in what I considered to be pink, and included reds and purples.


The end result looks more purple than pink, but there is pink in there, and maybe when you are looking for the pink you will see that there are lots of other colors in there to meet the challenge guidelines, which is to use at least five different colors.


I have been trying to use darker and busier fabrics in my selection of low volume backgrounds, and this quilt gave me the perfect opportunity to do that since most of my "pink" stack were pretty dark. My usual for a challenge like this would have to use a lot of bright colors, like in the Postage Stamp quilt, but the fact that my "other colors" are in the low volume sections makes me very happy.

I decided to make it a bars quilt, and resisted the temptation to make it a checkerboard. The end result was a trapezoid shape and it was tempting to leave it that shape, but I decided to trim it into a rectangle. It is the noon deadline that makes it look like it is not a rectangle.


2021: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 53

So much for weekly challenges, I am already late in posting my 15 Minutes to Stitch Report.  There was a flurry of quilting activity the last week of the year. Besides making and finishing Get Well Wishes for the World, I also posted a lot of year-end reports.

15 minute days this week --5 out of 5
15 minute days this year -- 300 out of 365 days
Success rate  = 82%
I finished at 84% in 2020.

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Weeks 1 and 2

This year, I would like to have noticeably more finishes than starts, and starting a new quilt is probably not the best way to get that result. But the Project Quilting challenge is posted, and since it forces you to finish a quilt in a week, it won't be counter-productive to that goal. As you saw at the top of this post, I finished the Pink and Other Colors this week.

15 minute days this week --9 out of 9
15 minute days this year -- 9 out of 9 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

15 Minutes to Stitch

Oh Scrap! 

Needle and Thread Thursday

Friday, January 7, 2022

Filling the Work in Process Drawers

There are five drawers in my new WIP cabinet and I am trying to figure out what to put in them. In no particular order, but numbered for clarity, here is how they will be filled:

Drawer One will be for the current Work in Progress. Right now, it is the Postage Stamp quilt.

Drawer Two will be for the current Leader / Ender. Right now, it is the Dots and Dashes quilt. Even though this is the current Leader / Ender, I am using Postage Stamp quilt as a Leader / Ender while working on my mini quilt.

Drawer Three will be for the Current Mini of the Month. I rarely work on more than one of these at a time, and when I do, I think there is room in the drawer for more than one. This drawer will probably be empty most of the time, since the work will probably be on the table, but I have to leave it empty for when I have to clean up my space. The current Mini is Pink and Other Colors.


Drawer Four will be for the Beautiful World project. I haven't worked on it since March.  Is this the UFO drawer or the handwork drawer, I'm not sure. It will identify itself in time.

While it is tempting to find another project for Drawer Five, I am opting to leave it empty. It will help make sure I can truly convert my sewing room back into a living room without having to put anything out of sight and out of mind.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

In Progress: Pink and Other Colors

On Sunday, I attended an introduction to Sherri Lynn Wood's Abstract Piecing Scrap Play workshop, The replay is available for free. There was an introduction of the series' speakers and some good conversation about abstract piecing, using value to your advantage, and creating order out of scraps. 

I've worked with Sherri Lynn before, testing a pattern in her book, so I didn't learn anything new, but it was really helpful to have things explained in a different way, because sometimes I need to hear things more than once to really get it. My main takeaways were to sort your scraps into like items - mostly by color and value. So light blue and dark blue, light green and dark green. It really helps bring order to the chaos of a scrap box. Then you can choose which stacks to combine.

The change is that instead of calling it improv, she is calling it abstract piecing. I think this change of terminology will really help, because sometimes it feels like improv should be spontaneous. At the end of my last project, I was thinking I shouldn't plan too much, and wound up with a spot where there was too much dark. Calling it abstract helps to see that the piecing is very intentional. You keep making decisions as you add each piece.

The other thing she said was that when you are finished, you should take the time to think about the project. She asked us to share a surprise, discovery, satisfaction, or challenge in our work. This takes things deeper so that you can articulate what you discovered, and hopefully this can help you take something when you work on your next project.

I cheated and didn't sort all of my fabrics, but I did choose pink fabrics and low volumes to make my practice play project.



As I was writing my end of the year recap, I noticed how many of my projects were a part of the Project Quilting Challenge. The weekly deadline really helps push through any doubts and hesitations. Just get it done! So when I saw that the challenge has started again, I want to participate as much as I can.

This week's Project Quilting Challenge is All the Colors. 

I am combining both of these projects and hopefully will have something to show you by Sunday.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

WIP Storage Problem Solving

I have a problem that I have complained about many times on my blog. I have decided it is time to fix it.

I sew in my living room, but when I have planned company over, I have to turn the sewing room back into a living room. I usually work on two or three quilts at a time, sometimes more.  This means I have to put away all of the quilts I am working on. I usually put them in boxes, mostly shoebox sized boxes, and take them upstairs into a bedroom where I store my fabric and other craft supplies.

One problem is that it is a lot of work taking things upstairs and bringing them back down, but it was something I was able to manage.

Another problem I have is that I am running out of room to store these boxes.I have finished 80% of my quilts, but as the number of quilts I start go up, 80% becomes a bigger number.  My usual solution to this problem was to decide that I needed to whittle down my UFO [unfinished object] projects so that there is room to put away current WIPs [works in progress]. This solution has not been working. 

The other problem is that when I put a quilt in a box and take it upstairs, it becomes "out of sight, out of mind". I start a brand new quilt project instead of going back to the WIP. Most of my WIPs become UFOs only because they have been put away, and there are lots of ideas of new quilts that are available to start.

I have decided that I need a different plan. I looked for those plastic scrapbook boxes that are at least 12x12, especially those that are drawers stacked together as a unit. I could take the whole stack upstairs and downstairs so I can resume my quilting on the current WIPs. I have a couple of those, and have used them for other things. They work wonderfully for my spices and paints/markers.

Unfortunately, they have been out of stock for a while.

Then I found something that I think will work even better.


I bought a different storage solution for the WIPs. Instead of boxes, I bought a set of drawers. I thought about cubes which would keep things visual for me, but I think that will look messy and allow dust to get into them. I am hoping that if I put labels on the drawers, I will be able to keep them on my mind. 

Once I got the chest of drawers, I realized that I could find a place to tuck this away in the living room, so that will eliminate my having to take everything upstairs too. With the wheels, I can find other places to put it out of the way on the first floor. This will also really help separate the WIPs from the UFOs. We will see if at the end of the year, I am able to finish more than 80% of my quilts.

Around the World in 80 Days is a new series on PBS. David Tennant stars in a new adaptation of Jules Verne's classic adventure novel. I highly recommend it. Also on PBS, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will have a new episode tonight.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 Annual Quilt Report


There are two posts today. The previous post shows all of the quilts I finished in 2021. 


This post shows charts and graphs. I keep a spreadsheet that lists the quilts I work on. I started showing the spreadsheet on my blog to document my year like an annual report.

Below is the list of 15 quilts that I started this year.

This report shows that I have started 160 quilts. I have created folders for each of these quilts so I can put all the WIP photos for the quilt to keep them more organized.

It also shows that I have given away 28.75% of my quilts and have finished 80% of the quilts I have started. My average time to finish a quilt is 327 days. A lot of the time is the time a quilt takes to marinate.

Besides the 11 that show as finished on this list, I also finished the Quote Quilt and the Blue Shirts quilt which were started before 2021.

This is where I record the totals for each year. You can see that in some years, like 1994, 2008, 2011 and 2020,  I had more finishes than starts. 

 Other years, the starts and finishes are the same, and most of them, I have more starts than finishes. I allow myself to just enjoy and start (and finish) as many quilts as I want.


Then I turn the yearly list into a line graph to make it easier to see visually. This one shows that the gap between starts and finishes is slowly getting wider. 
With the spreadsheet and annual reports, it feels like I should make goals and define how I should have better statistics. But this is for fun, not for work, and I will continue to have fun and just document what that looks like in charts and graphs.

This last graph shows that that my output has been increasing over the years. It also shows that 2021 was in the top 3 of both starts and finishes.. 

This is a reflection of a basketball net in a pool filled with leaves.

[I've been editing this post as the auditor finds changes that need to be made, so in the unlikely event you looked at this post more than once, the charts or stats may look slightly different.]

2021 End of the Year Quilting Recap

Hello and welcome to my annual End of the Year Recap. This year, I did not have any rules - I could start and finish as many quilts as I wanted without any guilt. The key was just to enjoy the journey. This lead to lots of fun finishes in 2021, so let's dive right in.



 In January, I participated in some of the Project Quilting challenge, making a quilt in a week using the challenge guidelines.  Lightbulb is one of them.


  Kamaria is another Project Quilting Challenge.



 In February, I continued the Project Quilting challenges with Visit India.




In March, I showed the Oak Leaf and Reel quilt I made for the Dust Off An Old Quilt Book blog hop


 I made this crazy quilt for a Project Quilting challenge.

 Wild and Free, Just Like the Sea

 Wild and Free is another  Project Quilting Challenge.




In April, I put the last stitches on the shirts quilt. This is an 80" x 80" quilt.  I started cutting the shirts in October of 2019, after they had lived their usefulness as wearable shirts. We plan to have an official photo shoot so you can see the entire quilt.




There were no quilt finishes in May. I spent time working on the Amalfi quilt. I made it into a top and have the borders ready to attach. I haven't taken a more recent photo of it.



There were no quilt finishes in May. I spent time working on the Inspirational Quote Crazy quilt. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have posted many times about this quilt.



In July, I introduced the Pop-Art quilt.  I spent most of my time working on the Quote quilt.

I also started the Alphabet quilt. This photo shows how far I have gotten on this quilt.




In August, I made the Fish and Bubbles Quilt.


I started the Postage Stamp quilt.




I started the Tuxedo Vest quilt and the Dots and Dashes quilts.

I officially finished the Blue Inspirational Quote Quilt on September 11, 2021. I realize I haven't blogged about this finish, because I am still waiting to take better photos and a video of this quilt.



 In October, I made postage stamp blocks. I finished the Tuxedo Vest quilt top, but I might be making some changes to it.The photo has it on its side.  I want to make it a little wider, and I have to decide whether I want to add a border or another column.


In November, I worked on the October Halloween house. I made more postage stamp blocks. I also started a mini quilt using reject postage stamp block.



I had two finishes in a row at the end of December. I finished the October Holiday House quilt. 

I also finished the Postage Stamp mini quilt which I named Get Well Wishes for the World

This means I had twelve finishes this year. I am very pleased with that number.


On New Year's Eve, Mary Fons showed my Inspirational Quote Crazy Quilt in this video. She starts talking about my quilt at 2:15. The video will start at the end of the last quilt she talked about so you can see where she talks about my quilt from the beginning.